Food selection preference of different ages and sizes of black tiger shrimp, Penaeus monodon Fabricius, in tropical aquaculture ponds in Malaysia
The investigation of food and food selection preferred by different sizes (PL15 to adult) of black tiger shrimp, Penaeus monodon Fabricius 1798, was carried out in tropical aquaculture ponds. Post larvae (15.2 ± 3.5 mm) and juveniles (65.2 ± 5.9 mm) foregut contains detritus (unidentified materials) followed by diatoms (Pleurosigma sp., Navicula sp., Nitzchia sp. and Cosinodiscus sp.), crustacea and insecta. The subadult (86.4 ± 8.9 mm) and adult (132.0 ± 12.8 mm) shrimp feed on detritus, crustacea, mollusca, annelida, rotifera, insecta and phytoplankton. However, it was found that the food selection preference of P. monodon is dependent on the availability of food items in the pond bottom. The tendency to prefer natural food by shrimps was observed when the food was available. The benthic organisms declined at the end of the culture period indicating that the culture species, that is, shrimps preyed on them as living or dead food along with artificial diets and detritus. Shrimps are detritivorous when benthic organisms are scarce. This fact shows that benthic detritus is considered a good food supplement for shrimps since it consists of cellulose, lignin, protein, starch, fats waxes and oils.
Key words: Aquaculture, natural food, Penaeus monodon, Malaysia.