, Volume 183, Issue 2, pp 133–140 | Cite as

Effects of crayfish size, orientation, and movement on the reactive distance of largemouth bass foraging in clear and turbid water

  • Todd A. Crowl


Laboratory experiments were performed in clear and turbid water to determine the effects of prey size, orientation, and movement on the reactive distance of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) when feeding on crayfish (Procambarus acutus). In clear water, the reactive distance increased linearly with an increase in prey size, and prey movement resulted in a significant increase in the reactive distance. Prey orientation (head-on versus perpendicular) did not change the reactive distances. In moderately turbid water, the reactive distance did not increase with increased prey size, and prey movement did not result in any changes in the reactive distance. The absence of any effects of prey orientation in clear water or prey movement in turbid water is inconsistent with results from studies using different species (primarily planktivorous fish). I propose that largemouth bass change their foraging tactics as prey visibility changes. When prey are highly visible (low turbidity), predators attack (react) only after prey recognition, which is based on multiple cues such as prey size (length, width) and movement. When prey are less visible (high turbidity), predators attack immediately upon initial prey sighting, which does not depend on prey size or movement.

Key words

predation largemouth bass crayfish reactive distance turbidity prey size 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Todd A. Crowl
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology and Oklahoma Biological SurveyUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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