Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 51 Issue 2
Breeding and larviculture of the sapphire devil damselfish Chrysiptera cyanea
G. Gopakumar, I. Santhosi and N. Ramamurthy
The sapphire devil damselfish, Chrysiptera cyanea is one among the top ten species of marine
ornamental fishes in the international trade. For the first time, broodstock development, breeding and
larviculture techniques of C. cyanea were developed and standardised and the details are presented.
Broodstock (length of fish:5 to 6.5 cm) was developed in two tonne capacity FRP tanks with biological
filter and by feeding with natural feeds ad libitum. The number of eggs per spawning ranged from
2000 - 2500. The interval between successive spawnings ranged from 5 to 20 days. The eggs were
oval - shaped and measured around 1.3mm in length and 0.6mm in width. Parental care by the male
was noticed. Hatching occurred on the night of the third day of incubation. The larvae were altritial
type but with mouth opening at the time of hatching. The length of newly hatched larvae averaged
to 2.5mm and the mouth gape around 150μ. Larviculture was done in five tonne capacity FRP tanks
by employing greenwater produced by the microalga Nannochloropsis sp. Different larviculture
systems were experimented by varying the cell counts of greenwater and live feeds. The cell counts
of greenwater employed for the experiments were in three ranges - 1 x 104 to 9 x 104 ml-1, 1 x 105
to 9 x 105 ml-1 and 1 x 106 to 9 x 106 ml-1. Four sets of experiments were conducted by feeding with
different live feeds � one set with enriched rotifer (Brachionus rotundiformis) alone, the second set
by employing mixed culture of two copepods species viz. Euterpina acutifrons and Pseudodiaptomus
serricaudatus, the third set by employing copepods and rotifers together as live feed and the fourth
set with copepods as starter feed for the first six days followed by enriched rotifers from 7 to 15 days
post-hatch (dph). The larval survival was recorded on 15th dph . Feeding experiments with B. rotundiformis
alone and those with B.rotundiformis and copepods together as live feeds were not successful. Coculturing
of the two selected species of copepods in optimum range of cell count of greenwater gave
the best survival. In this set, survival rate of larvae on 15 dph ranged from 5 to 8%. The maximum
survival rate was 5-6% in the group fed with copepods as starter feed upto 6 dph followed by enriched
rotifers from 7 to15 dph. It was noted that a cell count range of 1 x 105 cells ml-1 was the optimum,
which yielded the maximum larval survival in both these sets of experiments. After 15 dph, the larvae
were fed with freshly hatched Artemia nauplii and no further mortality was noted. Metamorphosis of
larvae started from 24th day and all the larvae metamorphosed by 30th day. The technique developed
has the potential to scale up to commercial level production.
Damselfish, Chrysiptera cyanea, breeding, larviculture, copepods
Date : 11-02-2010