Sensory organ development in cultured striped trumpeter larvae Latris lineata: implications for feeding behaviour
Cobcroft, JM and Pankhurst, PM, Sensory organ development in cultured striped trumpeter larvae Latris lineata: implications for feeding behaviour, Marine and Freshwater Research, 54, (5) pp. 669-682. ISSN 1323-1650 (2003) [Refereed Article]
Teleost larvae are reliant on sensory organs for feeding, in particular for the detection and subsequent capture of prey. The present study describes the development of sensory organs in cultured striped trumpeter larvae, Latris lineata. In addition, a short-term feeding trial was conducted to examine the feeding response of larvae with different senses available; streptomycin sulfate was used to ablate the superficial neuromasts, and testing larvae in the dark prevented visually mediated feeding. Some non-visual senses are available to striped trumpeter larvae from an early age, as indicated by the presence of superficial neuromasts at hatching, and innervated olfactory organs and a developed inner ear from Day 3 post hatching. The neuromasts proliferated on the head and body with increasing larval age, and formation of the lateral line canal had commenced by Day 26 post hatching. Oral taste buds were not present in any of the larvae examined, up to Day 26 post hatching. At hatching, the retina was at an early stage in development, but differentiated rapidly and was presumed functional coincident with the onset of feeding on Day 7 post hatching. The ventro-temporal retina was the last to differentiate, and was distorted by the embryonic fissure, such that larval vision in the forward and upward visual field would be compromised. In contrast, the dorso-temporal retina was the first area to differentiate, and presumptive rod and double-cone development occurred in this area from Days 11 and 16, respectively, indicating that the forward and downward directed visual field is most suited for acute image formation. Larvae on Day 18 post hatching demonstrated increased feeding with an increase in the senses available, with 8 ± 3% of streptomycin-treated larvae feeding in the dark (chemoreception and inner ear mechanoreception only) and 27 ± 5% of untreated larvae feeding in the light (all senses available). It remains to be demonstrated whether there is an advantage to larval growth and survival by providing live feed during the dark phase in culture, facilitating feeding 24 hours per day.