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Effects of substrate colour preference on growth of the shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei (Boone, 1931) (Decapoda, Penaeoidea)

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We tested the substrate colour preference and its effect on the specific growth rate (SGR), food intake and feeding efficiency (FE) of the shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei (Boone, 1931). Preference was tested in 50 cm diameter circular tanks divided into 4 lateral compartments, each filled with 2 cm depth of fine-grain, coloured sand (yellow, blue, green and red). The respective walls of each tank were also kept with the same colour, using coloured paper. Tanks were filled with 10 l of water (salinity of 4) and illuminated with fluorescent light ( n = 35 ). Tanks with natural sand (without a specific colour) were used as controls ( n = 6 ). Thirty-five shrimps were observed individually for three days at 7, 10, 13 and 16 h, for 20 min each time. Visit frequency to each compartment was registered every 2 min. Shrimps did not show any preference for a specific colour substrate for the first two days, however, there was higher preference for the yellow and red substrates on the third day. Control shrimps did not show preference for any compartment. To test the effects of substrate colour on feeding rate and growth, 25 shrimps were isolated for 60 days in a 15-l aquarium covered with coloured paper on the walls and filled with 2 cm of coloured substrate (yellow, blue, green, red and natural sand, n = 5 for each colour). Shrimps were fed daily and uneaten food removed and recorded. Shrimps were weighed every 10 days. Feeding rate was higher in the red environment than in blue or green environments, and FE was also higher for red than for blue shrimps group. SGR was higher in red and yellow environments. These results suggest that yellow and red substrate enhance the shrimps’ visual perception and food detection, and thus supports the finding that these substrate colours can improve FE and SGR of cultivated shrimps.

Affiliations: 1: 1Departamento de Fisiologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, PO BOX 1510, 59078-970 Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil; 2: 2Departamento de Ciências Animais, Universidade Federal Rural do Semiárido, Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil; 3: 3Departamento de Botânica, Ecologia e Zoologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil


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