2022 journal article

Comparison of Whole Blood Fatty Acid Profiles between Lionfish (Pterois spp.) in Wild and Managed Care Environments

Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens.

co-author countries: United States of America 🇺🇸
Source: ORCID
Added: July 22, 2022

Suboptimal nutrition may contribute to lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles) health issues in managed care environments. This study’s objective was to establish and compare whole blood fatty acid profiles in wild and aquarium lionfish. Whole blood samples were dried onto specialized high-quality paper cards from wild, invasive lionfish harvested off the North Carolina coast (n = 16) and lionfish managed by the North Carolina Aquariums (n = 12). Blood fatty acid profiles were analyzed from dried blood spots. Aquarium lionfish had significantly (p < 0.05) higher linoleic (18:2ω6) and eicosapentaenoic (20:5ω3) acid levels than wild lionfish. Similarly, aquarium lionfish had significantly (p < 0.05) lower saturated fatty acids and arachidonic (20:4ω6) to eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5ω3) ratios than wild lionfish. Total omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as the ratio of these two fatty acid groups, were similar between wild and aquarium lionfish. Gut content analysis of wild lionfish diets included reef-dependent and schooling fish while aquarium lionfish diets were pelagic fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and commercial gel diets with nutrient supplements. This study reports whole blood fatty acid profiles in lionfish, providing comparative macronutrient data that may be useful for improving their nutrition and welfare in aquariums.