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Diet and prey selectivity of scyphomedusae from Port Phillip Bay, Australia

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Scyphomedusae collected from Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia, between 1984 and 1986, consumed a variety of zooplankton. The percentage composition of gut contents of Cyanea capillata (Linné) in order of decreasing importance was larvaceans 31%, cladocerans 29%, fish eggs 14%, copepods 11%, hydromedusae 9%, and ascidian tadpoles 3%. The percentage composition of gut contents of Pseudorhiza haeckeli Haacke was fish eggs 41%, copepods 33%, larvaceans 8%, cladocerans 4%, crab zoea 4%, and decapod larvae 1%. Both species of scyphomedusae showed strong positive selection for fish eggs and yolk-sac larvae, and negative selection for other prey items. When fish eggs were omitted from the selectivity analyses, C. capillata showed positive selection for amphipods, decapods, crab zoea, Podon spp., larvaceans and ascidian tadpoles, and negative selection for Evadne spp. and all copepod taxa. Pseudorhiza haeckeli showed positive selection for amphipods, decapod larvae, crab zoea and cladocerans, and negative selection for cirripede larvae, larvaceans and hydromedusae. Amongst copepods, P. haeckeli showed positive selection for calanoid and harpacticoid copepods and negative selection for cyclopoid copepods.

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Communicated by G. F. Humphrey, Sydney

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Fancett, M.S. Diet and prey selectivity of scyphomedusae from Port Phillip Bay, Australia. Marine Biology 98, 503–509 (1988).

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