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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 123:23-31 (1995)  -  doi:10.3354/meps123023

Predation by sevenspine bay shrimp Crangon septemspinosa on winter flounder Pleuronectesamericanus during settlement: laboratory observations

Witting DA, Able KW

In laboratory experiments, we determined the relative amount of predation before, during and after settlement with winter flounder Pleuronectesamericanus as prey and sevenspine bay shrimp Crangonseptemspinosa as predators. Wild-caught winter flounder at various stages of morphological development and settlement [from presettled, pre-eye-migration (<=11 mm standard length, SL) to eyes fully migrated, settled individuals (10.0 to 34.3 mm SL)] were exposed to predation by adult shrimp (47 to 74 mm total length). Mortality in treatments involving small settled flounder (78%) was twice that of presettled individuals (30 to 45%). However, subsequent mortality decreased with flounder size, and was 0% for flounder >=20 mm SL. Predator density affected rate of predation on settled juveniles (8.7 to 19 mm SL); mortality increased from 0 to 80% as predator density increased from 0 to 10.6 m-2. At densities >=10.6 m-2, mortality reached an upper asymptote of 80 to 90%. These experiments suggest that predation by shrimp may be an important determining factor of habitat selection, size and mortality during settlement of winter flounder and other benthic fishes.

Predation . Settlement . Shrimp . Winter flounder

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