, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 112-121

Feeding dynamics and respiration of the bottom-dwelling caridean shrimp Nauticaris marionis Bate, 1888 (Crustacea: Decapoda) in the vicinity of Marion Island (Southern Ocean)

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The feeding dynamics and oxygen uptake of the bottom-dwelling caridean shrimp Nauticaris marionis were studied during the April/May 1984, 1996 and 1997 cruises to Marion Island (Prince Edward Islands, Southern Ocean). N. marionis is thought to have an opportunistic feeding mode. Prey composition varied considerably between the years and sites investigated. Overall, benthic (mainly hydrozoans and bottom-dwelling polychaetes) and, at times, pelagic (largely euphausiids and copepods) prey items dominated in the stomachs of N. marionis both by occurrence and by volume. Generally, pelagic prey contributed more to the diets of smaller shrimps, while benthic prey was a more important component in the guts of larger specimens. Wet, dry and ash-free dry weight were determined for specimens used in respiration experiments. The respiration rates of N. marionis females with carapace length 6.6–11.1 mm ranged from 80 to 250 μl O2 individual−1 · h−1, or from 0.588 to 2.756 μl O2 · mg−1 dry weight h−1. Regression analyses showed highly significant correlations between oxygen consumption and carapace length for N. marionis. Daily ingestion rates estimated using an in situ gut content analysis technique (4.4% of body dry weight) and an energy budget approach (average 4.7% of body dry weight, range 2.0–7.5%) showed good agreement with each other.

Accepted: 29 July 1998