Restricting feed ration has more effect than diet type on the feeding behaviour of greenlip abalone Haliotis laevigata

J Buss, D Jones, A Lumsden, J Harris, M Bansemer, D Stone

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Abalone farmed in Australia are predominantly fed formulated feeds, while in the wild, their diet consists of a mix of macroalgae. Here we investigated the feeding behaviour of juvenile greenlip abalone, Haliotis laevigata; fed live macroalgae and formulated diets at different rations; and observed their feeding behaviour using a novel ventral video monitoring technique. Four different diets (commercial chip, experimental flake, Ulva sp. and Gracilaria cliftonii) at two feeding rations (excess vs. restricted) were tested. Diet type had no effect on abalone movement, but macroalgal diets resulted in higher feed intakes. Restricting feed rations induced greater movement. Abalone moved little during the light period and moved mostly during darkness, except for animals on the restricted feed ration where feeding commenced during the light period. On farms, this phenomenon may be a useful behavioural indicator for identifying underfed abalone. Despite their lower intake, formulated diets promoted higher energy and nutritional intake, indicating that quantity of feed consumed is not solely indicative of nutritional gain. From a research perspective, the novel ventral monitoring method has created opportunities for further behavioural studies in molluscs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)51-70
    Number of pages20
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2015


    • aquaculture
    • feed ration
    • feeding behaviour
    • formulated diet
    • greenlip abalone
    • Haliotis laevigata
    • macroalgae
    • novel video monitoring


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