Great Lakes fish feed on invading shrimp

Nov 22, 2011

Hemimysis anomala, or more commonly the bloody red shrimp after its bright red spots—may become a new food source for fish, allaying concerns about how it will impact native fish populations.

"Forecasting how an invader will affect the growth and production of a specific native fish species is very relevant to conservation groups and government agencies hoping to conserve those fish," says Biology graduate student Mike Yuille.

Mr. Yuille is the lead author of a study that suggests for the first time that several native fish species have incorporated the bloody red shrimp into their diet over a multi-seasonal period.

In addition to using traditional stomach content analyses, researchers measured the carbon and nitrogen signatures of muscle tissues of three potential Hemimysis predators (round goby, yellow perch, and alewife) to get a long-term picture of eating habits. All three predators exhibited increased nitrogen or carbon signatures, suggesting they had been feeding on prey with signatures very similar to Hemimysis. The team found these signatures in sites with dense populations of bloody red shrimp.

Like zebra mussels, Hemimysis anomala is native to the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. It probably arrived in the Great Lakes through the ballast water of transoceanic ship. In 2006 it was discovered in Lake Michigan and has now been found in all of the Great Lakes except Lake Superior.

Mr. Yuille co-authored the research with Queen's associate professor Shelley Arnott, Linda Campbell, and Timothy Johnson at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources' Glenora Fisheries Station in Picton.

These findings will be published in the Journal of Research.

Explore further: Small, fast, and crowded: Mammal traits amplify tick-borne illness

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Shrimp species latest Great Lakes invader

Dec 25, 2006

An invader shrimp, hopping a ride on an overseas freighter, has entered the Great Lakes, fulfilling an 8-year-old prediction by Canadian researchers.

Round Goby invade Great Lakes

Aug 11, 2009

Canadian scientists uncover alarming invasion of round goby into Great Lakes tributaries: impact on endangered fishes likely to be serious.

Study finds way to cut sea lamprey numbers

Oct 03, 2005

Minnesota scientists say they've found a way to reduce sea lamprey populations in the Great Lakes by attracting them to areas where they can be sterilized.

Recommended for you

Dwindling wind may tip predator-prey balance

15 hours ago

Bent and tossed by the wind, a field of soybean plants presents a challenge for an Asian lady beetle on the hunt for aphids. But what if the air—and the soybeans—were still?

Asian stars enlisted to fight African rhino poaching

Sep 19, 2014

Increasingly desperate South African conversationists are turning to a multi-national team of "rhino ambassadors" to try to end the scourge of poaching—and Vietnamese pop diva Hong Nhung has been recruited ...

Tropical fish a threat to Mediterranean Sea ecosystems

Sep 18, 2014

The tropical rabbitfish which have devastated algal forests in the eastern Mediterranean Sea pose a major threat to the entire Mediterranean basin if their distribution continues to expand as the climate ...

User comments : 0