Aquaculture Feed and Fertilizer Resources Information System

Black tiger shrimp - Natural food and feeding habits

The shrimp nauplius is a nonfeeding, planktonic stage (Rothlisberg, 1998). The three shrimp protozoea stages are nonselective filter-feeders (Rothlisberg, 1998; Narciso and Morais, 2001) that feed mostly on phytoplankton and small zooplankton like rotifers. From mysis through to postlarva (PL), there is a transition to active predation on larger zooplankton (Lovett and Felder, 1990) (Table 1).

Juvenile P. monodon are fairly carnivorous (Tacon, 2002), feeding on seaweed, algae, crustaceans, detritus (bacterial colonies), molluscs and fish parts (Hall, 1962; FAO, 1968b; Marte, 1980; El Hag, 1984; Sultana, 2000). El Hag (1984) found that adults feed on crustaceans, annelids, algae and mud (Table 1).

Digestive system
Penaeid shrimp have a morphologically typical decapod digestive tract (Dall et al., 1990). Detection of feed begins with sight and touch, but shrimp also have numerous chemoreceptors on their appendages (e.g. the mandible, maxillule, maxilla, lateral antennular flagellum, dactyls of maxilliped 3 and periopods, merus of periopods, maxillipeds and the branchial chamber) (Lee and Meyers, 1997). The digestive tract of shrimp is divided into three main parts, the foregut, midgut and hindgut (Ceccaldi, 1997). The foregut (proventriculus, stomach) comprises the oesophagus and the part of the stomach where mastication occurs. The midgut gland or hepatopancreas (Figure 13) secretes digestive enzymes, absorbs digested products and maintains mineral reserves. It also functions in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, the distribution of stored reserves and the catabolism of some organic compounds (Ceccaldi, 1997).

The shrimp mouth has a short muscle-lined vertical oesophagus connecting it to the proventriculus (Figure 15). The mouth is associated with specialized appendages (Figure 14): the mandible; the paragnath (=labium); maxilla 1; maxilla 2; maxillipeds 1, 2 and 3; and a labrum that pushes bitten-off pieces towards the mouth (Garm, 2004). The mandibles possess both cutting and crushing processes and act to reduce food particles to a size suitable for ingestion. The 2nd and 3rd maxillipeds hold and pull the food.

The hindgut (Figure 13) is a chitin-lined straight tube running from the cephalothorax dorsally through the abdomen to the rectum (Dall et al., 1990; Ceccaldi, 1997). Feed takes between 48.3 and 90.5 min to pass through the gsut, irrespective of the fibre, protein or lipid content (Beseres, Lawrence and Feller, 2005), with some feed taking 4–6 h to pass through the gut (FAO, 1968b).