Planktonic foraminifera feed by using a sticky rhizopodial network to ensnare motile prey. Rates of capture of zooplankton prey were estimated from the frequency of prey items observed in the rhizopodia of SCUBA-collected specimens of the planktonic foraminifer Globigerinoides sacculifer
(Brady). Copepods were the dominant prey observed, constituting 44% of the foraminiferal prey numerically, and 95% of the biomass. A simple model was derived to describe the natural rates of predation by G. sacculifer on zooplankton, based on non-selective capture of appropriate-sized
prey. The model was applied to predict feeding rates of G. sacculifer on copepod assemblages over a range of values. The model predicted a wide variability (two orders of magnitude) in the rate of capture of copepods for the range of variables chosen. Feeding rates estimated from the
frequency of cope pods in the rhizopodia of SCUBA-collected foraminifera also showed a wide variability, averaging one copepod captured every 3.3 days, and were generally within the range of feeding rates predicted by the model.
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