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Suspension feeding in adult Nephrops norvegicus (L.) and Homarus gammarus (L.) (Decapoda)
Loo, L.-O.; Pihl Baden, S.; Ulmestrand, M. (1993). Suspension feeding in adult Nephrops norvegicus (L.) and Homarus gammarus (L.) (Decapoda). Neth. J. Sea Res. 31(3): 291-297
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Loo, L.-O.
  • Pihl Baden, S.
  • Ulmestrand, M.

    Suspension feeding in adults of the Norway lobster Nephrops norvegicus (40-74 g) and the European lobster Homarus gammarus (280-350 g) was tested in experiments offering planktonic food items of different sizes from 200 to 600 µm and measuring the clearing capacity. Both lobster species were found to effectively clear water of food particles comprising nauplii of the brine shrimp Artemia salina of about 600 µm in size. These were reduced to 50% of the initial concentration within 5 h and to 90% within 12 h. When N. norvegicus was offered food particles averaging 200 µm, a significant reduction in average size occurred, indicating that the minimum retention size is around 200 µm. Fluorescently dyed Artemia salina were recovered in the stomach and intestine of lobsters proving that the filtered particles are passed to the digestive tract. Results from other experiments, using the blood pigment (haemocyanin) concentration as an index of nutritional state, indicated that the lobsters can get some nutritional advantage from suspension feeding. Suspension feeding in larger decapods has not been described previously, so the significance of this finding is discussed with respect to changes in behaviour and ecological role.

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