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Free Content Feeding Behavior of the Hawaiian Slipper Lobster, Scyllarides Squammosus, with a Review of Decapod Crustacean Feeding Tactics on Molluscan Prey

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Despite the lack of a complex prey-opening apparatus, the non-chelate slipper lobster, Scyllarides squammosus, opens bivalves by a novel attack tactic known as “wedging.” At least two variations of the wedging tactic have been observed: direct wedging and a patience attack. Direct wedging involves a simple insertion of the dactyli between the prey valves. A prying effect is achieved by the pulling of one valve by the second pereiopods in tandem, while the opposite valve is pressed outward by the first pereiopods. The third pair of pereiopods is used to scrape free the attachment of the bivalve adductor muscles. Opening by the patience attack involves the probing of cemented, sessile bivalves with the pereiopods accompanied by antennal flicking. After ascertaining the precise location of the edge of the shell, the pereiopods are held poised above the shell, plunged downward upon sensing the re-opening of the shell, wedging it open. A comparison of attack tactics used by decapod crustaceans includes a number of mechanistic solutions ranging from simple, mouth-oriented tactics to more complex functional morphologies and behaviors. Specialization in a behavioral tactic may be one method for increasing prey yield despite a limited investment in armament.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1987-09-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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