, Volume 542, Issue 1, pp 103–111 | Cite as

Consumptive and non-consumptive effects of turbellarian (Mesostoma sp.) predation on anostracans

  • Els R. M. De. Roeck
  • Tom Artois
  • Luc Brendonck
Primary Research Paper


We assessed the predatory impact of Mesostoma sp. (Rhabditophora) on hatching and survival of Branchipodopsis wolfi (Anostraca) under laboratory conditions. The hatching percentages of resting eggs of B. wolfi were negatively influenced to a significant degree by the presence of Mesostoma sp. or the medium in which the worms were kept before, but only when prey and predator originated from the same pool. This relationship was also not observed when eggs of the American anostracan Thamnocephalus platyurus were exposed to the Turbellaria from Botswana. There was, however, no indication of predation of B. wolfi eggs by Mesostoma sp., either by eating them totally or by sucking them out. When the same number of anostracans of different ages was offered simultaneously to Mesostoma sp., the 1- and 3-day-old specimens were eaten significantly faster than the 5-day-old juveniles and the adult B. wolfi. We conclude that Mesostoma sp. has a potentially strong influence on the population dynamics and life history characteristics of B. wolfi in temporary aquatic systems. Additionally, the feeding behaviour of Mesostoma sp. was described and the ultra structure of its rostral area was investigated.


large branchiopods turbellarians predation temporary pools resting eggs hatching characteristics 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Els R. M. De. Roeck
    • 1
  • Tom Artois
    • 1
  • Luc Brendonck
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyKULeuvenLeurenBelgium

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