A tri-algal diet was fed to three age-groups of the rainbow mussel Villosa iris: ages 2-3 d, 50-53 d, and 3-6 years. Changes in the relative abundance of each algal species were determined in 5-h feeding trials from feeding chambers and by gut content analyses. All age-groups rejected Scenedesmus quadricauda and preferentially selected Nannochloropsis oculata and Selenastrum capricornutum, principally on the basis of size. Changes in the relative abundance of algae in feeding chambers did not differ significantly among age-groups. Observed differences in the ingested quantities of the similar-sized N. oculata and S. capricornutum were attributed to other particle-related characteristics. Results indicate that the rainbow mussel can be fed similar-sized algae at ali ages in captive propagation facilities. When developing a suitable algal diet for rearing juvenile mussels, one probably need not investigate different species at each stage of development if the algae used are in the 2.8-8.5-??m size range.
Additional publication details
An evaluation of selective feeding by three age-groups of the rainbow mussel Villosa iris