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Lipid classes and fatty acid levels were analyzed in freshly fertilized eggs, early and late embryo development, and freshly hatched larvae obtained from wild and captive silverside Chirostoma estor estor broodstock, as well as in plankton, Artemia, and pelleted feed. The concentration of triglycerides (TGs) and highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) in neutral lipid fraction significantly decreased during early development and especially after hatching, whereas phospholipids and HUFA in polar lipid fraction remained constant. These results indicate that TGs rather than PLs are used as energy sources and that all HUFAs [20:4n-6/arachidonic acid (ARA), 20:5n-3/eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and 22:6n-3/docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] of polar lipids are selectively conserved during early development. High levels of DHA (30%, on average, of total fatty acids) and low levels of EPA (4%) were observed in eggs, embryos, and larvae and did not reflect the proportions of these fatty acids in food. Preferential accumulation of DHA from food consumed by broodstock, and then transference to eggs, was probably occurring. The main difference between eggs from both origins was a low level of ARA in eggs from captive fish (4% of total fatty acids) compared to wild fish (9%). This could be associated with a deficiency in the diet that is not compensated for by desaturation/elongation of 18:2n-6 and, possibly, with greater stress in captive fish. In any case, particular requirements of ARA should be determined to optimize the culture of C. estor.