Understanding the nutrition of lobster larvae through the examination of growth and biochemical composition across different life stages is a critical component of aquafeed development of new aquaculture species. Therefore, in the present study, we benchmarked growth and changes in biochemical composition of Thenus australiensis from first larval stage (S1) to the juvenile first stage (J1). The larval cycle was completed in a maximum duration of 31 d and comprised four successive larval stages followed by a post-larvae stage (nisto) and a subsequent moult to J1. Growth during all larval stages, metamorphosis to nisto, and moult to J1 were tracked through the measurement of size (total length, TL and cephalic/carapace width, CW), individual wet (WW) and dry (DW) weights. Bulk samples of all developmental stages were collected and analysed for ash, crude protein, total lipid, nitrogen free extract (NFE) and gross energy of dry matter (DM). Lipid class, fatty acid and mineral composition of S1, S4 and J1 of DM were also measured to provide more detailed analysis of composition. As expected, TL, CW, WW and DW increased with each subsequent stage except for lower TL and CW of the nisto stage when compared to S4 larvae. The DW increases throughout larval development until nisto and was defined by higher ash, crude protein, total lipid and NFE absolute amounts. However, from nisto to J1, total lipid decreased by half. The total lipid of DM increased as larval stages progressed to the nisto phase, declining rapidly when monitored at J1. The accumulation of lipid during the larval phase highlights the importance of building lipid stores to maintain metabolism during the non-feeding nisto stage and moult to J1. Polar lipid was the dominant lipid group in comparison to neutral lipids stores. The energy content of larvae, nisto and J1 reflected the accumulation of lipid over the larval stages and its depletion during the non-feeding nisto stage. The environmental influence on elemental uptake was evident at the moult to J1 with a >4-fold increase in ash content in individual J1 compared to nisto. This was supported by an increase of major mineral constituents of the exoskeleton, particularly, calcium. The present study is the first describing in detail the growth and biochemical composition of all the larval stages until J1 for T. australiensis. The new knowledge on nutrition will support progress in aquafeed development for this new aquaculture species. © 2020 Elsevier B.V.
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Codabaccus, B. M., Carter, C. G., Fitzgibbon, Q. P., Trotter, A. J., & Smith, G. G. (2020). Growth and biochemical composition of hatchery reared scyllaridae lobster Thenus australiensis larval stages, nisto and juvenile first stage. Aquaculture, 524 doi:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2020.735262
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