Feeding ecology of juvenile mangrove red snapper Lutjanus argentimaculatus (Forsskål, 1775) in central Vietnam

VO V. CHI, JAMES D. TRUE

Abstract


The habitat and dietary requirements necessary to ensure optimal survivorship
and growth of settled juveniles L. argentimaculatus are poorly-known. This study examined ontogenetic diet shift in juvenile mangrove red snapper in coastal areas of central Vietnam. Juvenile fish of various size classes were captured in two widely-separated coastal locations, and their stomach contents analysed. Subsequently, the importance of providing natural prey for cultured juvenile fish was investigated. Strong differences were found between the diets of fish at different ontogenic stages, and smaller differences appeared to reflect feeding habits during different tidal cycles. In nature, the smallest juveniles fed almost exclusively on mysid shrimps and lesser amount of copepods and luciferid shrimps, while larger juveniles fed predominantly on sergestid shrimps in addition to grapsid crabs and terapontid fishes. Feeding intensity appeared to be maximal on the incoming tide for all size classes. Inclusion of the dominant prey found in wild fishes’ stomachs (Acetes and Mysidae) in juvenile culture of L. argentimaculatus improved growth and survival of juvenile fish during culture. Mysid and sergestid shrimps comprise an important part of juvenile diet for all size classes, and the addition of such live food in juvenile culture is likely to create productivity gain for the industry.


Keywords


mangrove red snapper, stomach contents, diet shift, feeding habits, live food

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