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Larval clownfish amphiprion ocellaris predatory success and selectivity when preying on the calanoid copepod parvocalanus crassirostris

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Item Summary

Title: Larval clownfish amphiprion ocellaris predatory success and selectivity when preying on the calanoid copepod parvocalanus crassirostris
Authors: Jackson, James Michael
Issue Date: Aug 2011
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2011]
Abstract: Larvae of the clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris and the evasive copepod prey Parvocalanus crassirostris were used as a model system for the study of larval reef fish predatory behavior during the planktonic larval phase. Little is known about the feeding behavior of coral reef fish larvae during this critical phase. The use of a model larval reef fish predator and natural prey allowed for the investigation of feeding behaviors such as prey selectivity and capture success from hatching to settling. Filming techniques were used to examine larval fish predatory behavior when presented with multiple copepod lifestages in mixed and single prey-type assemblages. A. ocellaris growth characteristics were measured and compared to prey size. A. ocellaris predatory ability improved with age. Larvae hatched with the ability to capture P. crassirostris nauplii, but not copepodites. Capture of copepodites occurred on day 3 post-hatch with an initial success rate of 22%. Capture of adult copepods was first observed on day 8 post-hatch, with an initial success of 4%. Early in development, A. ocellaris exhibited preference for nauplii (Manly-Chesson index value of 0.68 at day 1 post-hatch) and avoidance of adults (Manly-Chesson index value of 0.05 at day 1 post-hatch). Selectivity between nauplii and adults decreased as fish larvae aged and A. ocellaris aged 10-14 days post-hatch demonstrated no selectivity for any prey type. The common assumption that larval fish mouth gape size relative to prey size is a good predictor for prey preference was not supported. A. ocellaris mouth gape measurements relative to prey size measurements would have predicted consumption of all P. crassirostris life-stages by day 2 post-hatch. This study provides novel insight into feeding behavior during the planktonic larval phase of a model larval reef fish preying on multiple life-stages of a natural evasive prey.
Description: M.S. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:M.S. - Zoology

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