Formulated feed supports weight gain and survivorship in Juvenile sea urchins Lytechinus variegatus

Academic Article


  • In adult sea urchins, formulated feeds can support both weight gain and gonad production; however, studies demonstrating the effects of formulated feeds on juvenile sea urchin growth are limited. In this study, juvenile sea urchins (test diameter: 3.20-7.33 mm, N = 12 per treatment) were reared individually in artificial seawater and fed with one of four experimental feeds: (1) mixed-taxa algal biofilm (MTAB), (2) freeze-dried MTAB, (3) a commercial, small-mammal feed (FriskiesĀ® cat treats), or (4) a semipurified feed formulated for sea urchins. The MTAB and sea urchin feed supported weight gain and survival throughout the study; however, those individuals fed with the sea urchin feed exhibited a short lag period at the onset of feeding. This short lag period may be, in part, because of an initial lack of attraction of the urchins to the formulated feed. Furthermore, we hypothesize that gut physiology or gut flora must acclimatize to a new diet (all sea urchins were reared initially on the MTAB diet). The freeze-dried MTAB and mammal feed did not support substantial weight gain. This study suggests that sea urchin juveniles as small as 3-4 mm can utilize formulated feeds for growth. Ā© Copyright by the World Aquaculture Society 2009.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Taylor AM; Powell ML; Watts SA; Lawrence AL
  • Start Page

  • 780
  • End Page

  • 787
  • Volume

  • 40
  • Issue

  • 6