Hemimysis anomala is a near-shore mysid native to the Ponto-Caspian region that was discovered to have invaded Great Lakes ecosystems in 2006. We investigated feeding rates and prey preferences of adult and juvenile Hemimysis in laboratory experiments to gain insight on the potential for Hemimysis to disrupt food webs. For both age groups (AGs), we measured feeding rates as a function of prey abundance (Bosmina longirostris as prey), prey type (B. longirostris, Daphnia pulex, and Mesocyclops sp.), and light levels (no light and dim light). Mean feeding rates on Bosmina increased with prey density and reached 23 ind. (2 h)−1 for adults and 17 ind. (2 h)−1 for juveniles. Dim light had little effect on prey selection or feeding rate compared to complete darkness. When feeding rates on alternate prey were compared, both AGs fed at higher rates on Bosmina than Daphnia, but only juveniles fed at significantly higher rates on Bosmina relative to Mesocyclops. No significant differences were observed between feeding rates on Mesocyclops and on Daphnia. Hemimysis feeding rates were on the order of 30–60% of their body weight per day, similar to predatory cladocerans that have been implicated in zooplankton declines in Lakes Huron and Ontario.
Additional publication details
Effect of light, prey density, and prey type on the feeding rates of Hemimysis anomala