Basil, tea tree and clove essential oils as analgesics and anaesthetics in Amphiprion clarkii (Bennett, 1830)

<div><p>Abstract In this study were evaluated the anaesthesia and analgesic effects of clove Eugenia caryophyllata, tea tree Melaleuca alternifolia and basil Ocimum basilicum essential oils (EO) during handling of yellowtail clownfish Amphiprion clarkii. Juveniles (3.70 ± 0.75 cm and 1.03 ± 0.50 g; mean ± standard deviation) were submitted to concentrations of 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80 µl L-1 of clove, 150, 200, 250, 300 and 350 µl L-1 of basil and 200, 300, 400, 500 and 600 µl L-1 of tea tree oils (n=10/concentration), previously defined in pilot tests. Individually and only once, fish from each treatment were placed in a glass recipient containing 1 L of seawater at a temperature of 25 °C, salinity of 35 g L-1 and the specific concentration of diluted EO (stock solution). Control (only seawater) and blank (seawater and ethanol at the highest concentration used to dilute the oils) treatments were also conducted. After reaching the stage of surgical anaesthesia, fish were submitted to biometry and a sensibility test. After that, they were transferred to clean seawater for anaesthesia recovery. The times of induction needed to reach each anaesthesia stage and anaesthesia recovery were recorded. Animals were observed for 72 hours after the procedures. All the EO provoked anaesthesia and analgesic effects in A. clarkii, but basil oil is not recommended because it caused involuntary muscle contractions and mortality in 100% and 12% of fish, respectively. The lower concentrations that promote suitable induction and recovery times are 50 µl L-1 of clove oil and 500 µl L-1 of tea tree oil. However, due to its complementary high analgesic efficiency, clove oil is recommended as the ideal anaesthetic for A. clarkii.</p></div>