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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 391, Issue 1–3, pp 221–238 | Cite as

Optimal foraging as the criteria of prey selection by two centrarchid fishes

  • Jagath Manatunge
  • Takashi Asaeda
Article

Abstract

The nature of prey selection by two centrarchids (white crappie and bluegill) is presented as a model incorporating optimal foraging strategies. The visual field of the foraging fish as represented by the reactive distance is analysed in detail to estimate the number of prey encounters per search bout. The predicted reactive distances are compared with experimental data. The energetic cost associated with fish foraging behaviour is calculated based on the sequence of events that takes place for each prey consumed. Comparisons of the relative abundance of prey species and size categories in the stomach to the lake environment indicated that both white crappie and bluegill (length < 100 mm) strongly select prey utilising an energy optimization strategy. In most cases, the fish exclusively selected large Daphnia ignoring evasive prey types (Cyclops, Diaptomids) and small cladocera. This selectivity is the result of fish actively avoiding prey with high evasion capabilities even though they appear to be high in energetic content and having translated this into optimal selectivity through capture success rates. The energy consideration and visual system, apart from the forager's ability to capture prey, are the major determinants of prey selectivity for large-sized bluegill and white crappie still at planktivorous stages.

bluegill sunfish optimal foraging prey selectivity reactive distance visual foraging white crappie 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jagath Manatunge
    • 1
  • Takashi Asaeda
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science & Human TechnologySaitama UniversityUrawashi, SaitamaJapan

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