|The more the merrier: Swarming as an antipredator strategy in the mysid Neomysis integer|In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Predator prey interactions; Protective behaviour; Neomysis integer (Leach, 1814) [WoRMS]; ANE, Finland [Marine Regions]; Marine; Brackish water
The swarming behaviour of a Baltic littoral mysid shrimp, Neomysis integer, was studied both in the presence and absence of a predator (European perch, Perca fluviatilis L.). I performed two kinds of laboratory experiments. First, the swarming tendency of mysids and the effect of swarm size on swarm choice were studied. Second, the ingestion rate of mysids was measured when feeding alone versus in a swarm. The results indicate that N. integer actively join swarms. The avoidance of the perch by N. integer individuals was stronger when there was a swarm present. Larger swarms were preferred over smaller ones regardless of presence or absence of the predator. The overall feeding rate was similar when feeding alone and in swarm, but predator cues reduced feeding rate only when the mysids were feeding alone. This study demonstrates the capability of N. integer to assess predation risk and social context and alter their behaviour accordingly.