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A comparison of prey capture kinematics in hatchery and wild Micropterus salmoides floridanus: effects of ontogeny and experience

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Analysis of high‐speed videography demonstrated that juvenile wild Florida largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides floridanus captured live prey with very rapid movements and large excursions. Hatchery fish of the same age, raised on pelleted feed, however, used slower kinematics with smaller excursions, yielding strikes with a higher degree of ‘suction’. Capture events of hatchery Florida largemouth bass fed live prey for the first time were characterized by movements that had smaller excursion measurements than wild fish and resulted in a decreased level of capture success. After five exposures to elusive mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki, hatchery Florida largemouth bass adapted their behaviour to capture prey at the kinematic level of wild fish.

Keywords: Centrarchidae; fisheries; learning; ram‐suction index; survival

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Department of Biology, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, SCA 110, Tampa, FL 33620-5200, U.S.A.

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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