The nutritional condition of cultured Sagmariasus verreauxi juveniles over the molt and during starvation was investigated by studying their metabolism, bioenergetics of nutrient reserves, and hemolymph biochemistry. Juveniles were shown to downregulate standard metabolic rate by as much as 52% within 14 d during starvation. Hepatopancreas (HP) lipid was prioritized as a source of energy, but this reserve represented only between 1% and 13% of the total measured energy reserve and was used quickly during starvation, especially in the immediate postmolt period when as much as 60% was depleted within 3 d. Abdominal muscle (AM) protein represented between 74% and 90% of the total measured energy reserve in juvenile lobsters, and as much as 40% of available AM protein energy was used over 28 d of starvation after the molt. Carbohydrate reserves represented less than 2% of the measured total energy reserve in fed intermolt lobsters and provided negligible energy during starvation. Eighteen hemolymph parameters were measured to identify a nondestructive biomarker of condition that would reflect accurately the state of energy reserves of the lobster. Among these, the hemolymph Brix index was the most accurate and practical method to predict HP lipid and the total energy content of both the HP and the AM in juvenile S. verreauxi. The Brix index was strongly correlated with hemolymph proteins, triglyceride, cholesterol, calcium, and phosphorus concentrations, as well as lipase activity; all were useful in predicting condition. Electrolytes such as chloride, magnesium, and potassium and metabolites such as glucose and lactate were poor indicators of nutritional condition. Uric acid and the “albumin”-to-“globulin” ratio provided complementary information to the Brix index, which may assist in determining nutritional condition of wild juvenile lobsters of unknown intermolt development. This study will greatly assist future ecological studies examining the nutritional condition of juvenile lobsters in the wild, as well as the development of husbandry protocols and feeds for aquaculture. © 2015 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
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Simon, C.J., Fitzgibbon, Q.P., Battison, A., Carter, C.G. & Battaglene, S.C. 2015, "Bioenergetics of nutrient reserves and metabolism in spiny lobster juveniles Sagmariasus verreauxi: Predicting nutritional condition from hemolymph biochemistry", Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, vol. 88, no. 3, pp. 266-283.
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