Main content area

Beak microstructure analysis as a tool to identify potential rearing stress for Octopus vulgaris paralarvae

Franco‐Santos, Rita Melo, Perales‐Raya, Catalina, Almansa, Eduardo, De Troch, Marleen, Garrido, Diego
Aquaculture research 2016 v.47 no.9 pp. 3001-3015
Octopus vulgaris, aquaculture, beak, biomarkers, diet, experimental design, jaws, light intensity, microstructure, rearing, survival rate
Octopus vulgaris is a viable candidate for commercial aquaculture, but rearing procedures might stress individuals and result in diminished growth and survival. This study investigated the relationship between possible stress sources (tank transposition and syphoning) when rearing O. vulgaris paralarvae and the deposition pattern of growth increments in their beak microstructure. Light intensity at the facility was heterogeneous, and accounted for with an experimental design consisting of blocks without replicates. Growth and survival were estimated and possible effects of handling were tested for both parameters. Increments and stress marks were counted in 120 paralarval upper jaws (UJ), and the number of UJs with a mark on the day of stress application (day 8) was quantified. Differences in light intensity, diet quantity and total number of marks in the UJ were also compared between treatments. Growth and survival were statistically similar between treatments, although the control treatment showed a tendency for higher survival rates. Age at first increment deposition coincided with day 1 of experiment, and a 1 increment day⁻¹ deposition rate was validated for the experiment duration. The number of stress marks was significantly different between the control and other treatments, indicating that handling might cause stress and that marks can be used as a biomarker for stress, although the occurrence of stress marks on day 8 was not significantly different. Light intensity and diet might have also been relevant stressors and confounded the results. The results herein presented are important for improving rearing conditions for O. vulgaris paralarvae.