Date of Award

Fall 1995

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences



Committee Director

James H. Cowan, Jr.

Committee Director

Cynthia M. Jones

Committee Member

Harold G. Marshall

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.B46 P373


Larval striped bass were reared in the laboratory from 6 days post-hatch (dph) to 21 dph under four different feeding regimes to assess the effect of food concentration on triacylglycerol to sterol ratios (TG:ST) of larvae. Larvae were fed Peru strain Artemia salina nauplii in concentrations of 0, 10, 100, and 10001·1-1, with three replicate tanks within each feeding treatment. Larvae were sampled on 14 and 21 dph and frozen in liquid nitrogen. Lipids were extracted from larvae in a 90:10:1 solution of dichlormethane:hexane:formic acid and analyzed with thin-layer chromatography/flameionization detection. Analysis of larval constituent lipids, and calculation of vital rates of instantaneous daily mortality (Z) and weight-specific growth (G) from different treatments, suggested that a TG:ST ratio of 0. 75 may be a conservative estimate of the boundary between larvae in good and poor nutritional condition.

This laboratory-calibrated standard was employed to determine the nutritional condition of wild-caught striped bass larvae from the Pamunkey River, Virginia. On five cruises during spring 1994, larval striped bass and zooplankton were collected from the area of peak spawning activity in the Pamunkey. Analysis of constituent lipids of wild-caught larvae showed later-spawned cohorts of larval striped bass were in worse nutritional condition than early-spawned fish. Nutritional condition declined as food levels fell, especially larger cladocerans, and was positively correlated to temperature (p = 0.03). This method for determining relative health of larval fish was successful in determining nutritional condition of larval striped bass and easily could be incorporated into existing larval surveys.


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