Feeding dynamics of Palaemon peringueyi (Decapoda, Caridea) in the temporarily open/closed Kasouga Estuary, South Africa

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The feeding ecology of the caridean shrimp Palaemon peringueyi in the temporarily open/closed Kasouga Estuary, Eastern Cape, was examined during summer and winter employing stomach fullness index (SFI) analysis. Mean SFI values for male and female shrimp during summer ranged from 0.85% to 2.36% and from 0.56% and 2.61% body dry weight, respectively. During winter, SFI values for males and females were lower, and varied between 0.23% and 1.56% and 0.36% and 1.84% body dry weight, respectively. There were no significant differences in the SFI values between males and females during the two seasons. A peak in the feeding activity for both sexes was observed during the daytime during both summer and winter. For both males and females, non-linear regression analysis best explained the change in SFI over time. The gut evacuation rate constants (k) of males and females during summer were estimated at 0.43 h-1 and 0.30 h-1, respectively. These values correspond to a daily food intake equivalent to 16.2% body dwt for males and 11.1% body dwt for females. During winter, the gut evacuation rates of the shrimp were estimated at 0.35 h-1 for males and 0.28 h-1 for females. The daily ration for adult male and female shrimp during winter was estimated at 6.1% and 6.8% body dwt, respectively. The lower estimates obtained during winter appear largely to reflect the influence of the reduced water temperatures on the metabolic activities of the shrimp.

Keywords: Palaemon peringueyi; caridean shrimp; gut fullness index; seasonal variation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2989/16085914.2010.490982

Affiliations: Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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