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Ontogeny of copepod predation in juvenile squid (Loligo opalescens)
Chen, D.S.; Van Dykhuizen, G.; Hodge, J.; Gilly, W.F. (1996). Ontogeny of copepod predation in juvenile squid (Loligo opalescens). Biol. Bull. 190(1): 69-81
In: Biological Bulletin. Marine Biological Laboratory: Lancaster. ISSN 0006-3185, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Chen, D.S.
  • Van Dykhuizen, G.
  • Hodge, J.
  • Gilly, W.F.

    Copepods are the major prey of juvenile squid, and small species of squid such as Loligo opalescens face a great challenge in catching these erratically moving crustaceans. We studied the ontogeny of copepod predation in laboratory-reared animals and found that mastery of copepod capture develops progressively, starting shortly after hatch with strong attacks of a simple type. Modifications of the initial basic attack lead to more specialized strategies that effectively extend the range of capture to both longer and shorter distances. This progression culminates, by approximately 40 days post-hatching, in adult-like prey capture behavior involving tentacle extension and retraction. Squid raised exclusively on easily captured Artemia nauplii and introduced to a copepod diet 40 days after hatching displayed only basic attack behavior, characteristic of very young squid. All of these attacks were unsuccessful, and very few of these animals survived the transition. Copepod capture thus appears to be a skill that must be acquired in an experience-dependent manner early in post-hatching life.

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