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Comparison of laboratory rates of predation of five species of marine fish larvae by three planktonic invertebrates: effects of larval size on vulnerability

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Rates of predation by the invertebrates Aurelia aurita, Thysanoessa raschi and Euchaeta norvegica on larval stages of cod (Gadus morhua L.), flunder (Platichthys flesus L.), plaice (Pleuronectes platessa L.), herring (Clupea harengus L.), and turbot (Scophthalmus maximus L.) were determined. Experiments were conducted in late winter and early spring 1982 with predators collected in Loch Etive, Scotland and prey obtained from several locations in Great Britain. Early stages of the smallest species, cod, flounder and turbot, tended to be most vulnerable to all three predators, while the early stages of the larger species, plaice and herring, and older stages of all species, were less vulnerable. For all stages and species of larvae, predation rates by the three predators were most closely related to larval length and escape swimming speed. Larval length itself was closely correlated to indices of larval escape ability. Low predation rates on large larvae by E. norvegica could be due to handling difficulties, whereas for A. aurita and T. raschi these low rates were due to escape abilities of the larger larvae. Prey movement is an important stimulus eliciting predation in E. norvegica but not in A. aurita or T. raschi.

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Communicated by J. Mauchline, Oban

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Bailey, K.M. Comparison of laboratory rates of predation of five species of marine fish larvae by three planktonic invertebrates: effects of larval size on vulnerability. Marine Biology 79, 303–309 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00393262

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  • Marine Fish
  • Swimming Speed
  • Predation Rate
  • Late Winter
  • Gadus Morhua