Marine Biology

, Volume 157, Issue 11, pp 2461–2465

Differences in embryo production between sympatric species of mysids (family Mysidae) in the shallow coastal waters off Vancouver Island, BC

Original Paper


The ecological importance of mysid (Crustacea: Mysidacea) populations in coastal food webs is not well understood. Although the 10 or more species of epibenthic mysids found in Clayoquot Sound, BC, Canada, form the primary prey resource for seasonally abundant gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus), little is known about their life history. Here, Holmesmysis sculpta dominates multi-species swarms, however there are several potential routes to this state, one of which is higher embryo production. Reproductive capacity is key to the resiliency of local mysid populations and species diversity, in this study I compare one aspect, brood size for the four most commonly found species, H. sculpta, Neomysis rayii, Exacanthomysis davisi, and Columbiaemysis ignota. The number of embryos per brood was found to vary significantly between species; however, individual length is a stronger determinant of brood size. Here, I report previously unknown life history attributes of coastal mysid species, with important consequences for community structure and local marine food webs.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Whale Research Lab, Department of GeographyUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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