Marine Biology

, Volume 91, Issue 2, pp 219–229 | Cite as

Feeding and swimming of lysianassid amphipods in a shallow cold-water bay

  • B. Sainte-Marie


The potential for dispersal by lysianassid amphipods and their localization to carrion in a shallow cold-water bay in the Middle Saint Lawrence Estuary were assessed by means of endobenthic sampling, SCUBA observations, measures of swimming speeds, and by exposure of bait (50–100 g of fish) in traps. Seventy-five to 99.9% of animals attracted to traps were lysianassid amphipods belonging to five species. Lysianassid species were spatially segregated in the Bay at low tide but all were more or less dispersed at high tide. Second cohortAnonyx sarsi Steele and Brunel,Boeckosimus edwardsi andOnisimus littoralis (Krøyer) were more dispersed than the small first cohort individuals. Second cohortA. sarsi were crawlers or low (0–0.5 m off the bottom) suprabenthic swimmers in the day, but upper (0.5–2 m) suprabenthic swimmers at night. In contrast, first cohortA. sarsi were crawlers or low suprabenthic swimmers day-and-night, whileOrchomenella pinguis (Boeck) followed this swimming pattern at night but were generally akinetic in the day. Mean swimming speeds ofA. sarsi (13.6 cm s-1) andOn. littoralis (12.1 cm s-1) were 2 to 3 times greater than those ofOr. pinguis (7.4 cm s-1) andPsammonyx nobilis (Stimpson) (4.4 cm s-1). Catchability coefficients (i.e. ratio number of individuals per trap:endobenthic abundance) were 74 (A. sarsi), 8 (On. littoralis), 7 (Or. pinguis), and 0.7 (P. nobolis) m2 of bottom. Gut content analysis indicated thatA. sarsi fed mostly on large carrion, whileOn. littoralis were markedly opportunistic, andOr. pinguis andP. nobilis relied on detritus, algae, and small crustaceans.


Content Analysis Detritus High Tide Swimming Speed Ratio Number 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Sainte-Marie
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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