Polar Biology

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 171–177 | Cite as

Scavenging and other feeding habits of lysianassid amphipods (Orchomene spp.) from McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

  • Peter N. Slattery
  • John S. Oliver
Article

Summary

The distribution and scavenging habits of the two most abundant lysianassid amphipods in McMurdo Sound differ markedly. Orchomene plebs lives primarily in deep water (>100 m), where planktonic and benthic food is sparser and scavenging events are less common and predictable than in shallower water. Orchomene plebs is common in shallow areas (<100 m) only under the Ross Ice Shelf and along the western McMurdo Sound. Here Weddell seals frequent tidal cracks in which they discard carrion and defecate; otherwise food is scarce. Orchomene pinguides lives on shallow (<10 m) wave-cut benches that are rich in food along the eastern McMurdo Sound. They, along with other omnivorous invertebrates which scavenge the food-rich eastern sound benches, are rare from shallow water along the western sound. The eastern benches are bathed by dense plankton blooms and harbor a high biomass of benthic diatoms and invertebrates. Scavenging events there were observed throughout the year. Orchomene plebs is larger and more motile, and came to laboratory carrion and baited field traps more rapidly and in greater numbers than O. pinguides. The crop contents of O. plebs contained only amorphous organic matter that suggested a scavenging habit. Crops of O. pinguides contained not only amorphous organic matter but also invertebrate prey, especially planktonic copepods that impact the bottom during winter.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter N. Slattery
    • 1
  • John S. Oliver
    • 1
  1. 1.Moss Landing Marine LaboratoriesMoss LandingUSA

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