Foraging behaviour and prey discrimination in the bluespotted maskray Dasyatis kuhlii

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Abstract:

A study observing the foraging behaviours and prey discrimination of a common demersal stingray, the bluespotted maskray Dasyatis kuhlii was performed under controlled laboratory conditions. A selection of prey species and masses were offered at depths of 10 and 50 mm in sand. Foraging efficiency and prey selection at both burial depths were compared. Dasyatis kuhlii selected the ghost shrimps, Trypaea australiensis and T. australiensis >2·5 g, range ± 0·2 g though foraging errors represented by prey being excavated and not consumed suggested a limited discriminatory ability at the point of detection. Burial depth did not influence prey species, mass selection or discriminatory ability.

Keywords: elasmobranch; foraging efficiency; optimal foraging theory; prey discrimination; prey selection

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2008.02022.x

Affiliations: Centre for Marine Studies, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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