The onset of schooling behaviour and brain growth in larval yellowtail Seriola quinqueradiata larvae fed on Artemia enriched with oleic acid (OA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for 10 days was investigated. Larvae from the DHA groups schooled with parallel orientation while those of the EPA groups showed only aggregation. Larvae of the OA groups were dispersed. DHA and EPA groups showed significantly smaller nearest neighbour distance compared with OA groups, and DHA groups showed significantly smaller values of nearest neighbour angle compared with the other groups. The relative volume of the tectum opticus (TO) of the DHA group was significantly larger in two experiments and also the relative volume of the cerebellum (CE) of that group was significantly larger in one experiment. Dietary DHA is probably critically important for the development of the brain, particularly TO, during the larval stages, and that development of TO may be the key factor of the ontogeny of schooling behaviour. © 2001 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.
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