, Volume 563, Issue 1, pp 31–44 | Cite as

The Shrimp Caridina nilotica in Lake Victoria (East Africa), Before and After the Nile Perch Increase

  • Kees (P.C.) Goudswaard
  • Frans Witte
  • Jan H. Wanink
Primary Research Paper


The shrimp Caridina nilotica is a major prey of the introduced Nile perch in Lake Victoria. In spite of heavy predation, the density of shrimps increased after the Nile perch boom and the concomitant disappearance of the haplochromine cichlids. In the same period, the mean size of gravid shrimps and the size at first maturity declined. This seems to indicate an increased predation pressure on adult shrimps. Before the Nile perch upsurge, specialised shrimp eaters and piscivores, among the haplochromine cichlids, only took adult shrimps, whereas we assume that most haplochromines used to include juvenile shrimps into their diet. Another important predator on adult shrimps was Bagrus docmak. The combined density of predators on adult shrimps in the pre-Nile perch era was estimated at 10 kg ha−1 and the potential predators on juveniles were estimated at 170 kg ha−1. After the Nile perch upsurge, only Nile perch up to 10 cm TL and Rastrineobola argentea fed on juvenile shrimps (ca. 36 kg ha−1) and Nile perch from 10 to 50 cm TL (ca. 13 kg ha−1) fed on adults. These rough estimates of the biomass of predators on shrimps before and after the Nile perch upsurge indicate a reduced predation pressure on juvenile shrimps. The disappearance of the haplochromines may have released competition with small Nile perch for juvenile shrimps, thus enhancing the recruitment of Nile perch.


shrimp population increase size reduction life history parameters predation shift Lates niloticus 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kees (P.C.) Goudswaard
    • 1
  • Frans Witte
    • 1
  • Jan H. Wanink
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Biology LeidenUniversity of LeidenLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Koeman en Bijkerk BVEcological Research and ConsultancyHarenThe Netherlands

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