Defense Date

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Michael Fine

Abstract

Channel catfish have pectoral spines that lock to defend against gape-limited predators such as largemouth bass. Previous work indicated that spines increase survival of channel catfish exposed to bass but did not determine whether bass avoid catfish if less dangerous species are available. We presented bass with channel catfish and two alternatives, bluegill and goldfish, and compared order of ingestion, ingestion time, percent of successful strikes, and time spent chasing each prey species. We also presented the three species in a jar study that standardized position in the water column as well as in a net-pen study. The order of ingestion was suggestive of a preference for goldfish, then bluegill and finally channel catfish. Handling time was greater for channel catfish, less for bluegill, and the least for goldfish. Fewer catfish were eaten when other prey were available. Bass appear to avoid channel catfish if alternative prey is available.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2010

Included in

Biology Commons

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