Predatory behaviour and metabolic costs in the Antarctic muricid gastropod Trophon longstaffi

first_imgAquarium-based observations of the feedingbehaviour of the Antarctic muricid gastropod Trophonlongstaffi over a 3-year period revealed that individualswere capable of feeding on both bivalve (Laternulaelliptica and Yoldia eightsi) and brachiopod (Liothyrellauva) prey. Feeding activity was remarkablyinfrequent, with most individuals taking between 0.67and 2.66 items per year, but two individuals atenothing for 30 months and another ate nothing overthe entire 36-month period. The time taken to attackand consme prey was extremely slow, with 20 days tocomplete an attack on the brachiopod Liothyrella uvaand 29 days for the bivalve Laternula elliptica.Y. eightsi were mostly attacked by a wedging method.Most attacks were by drilling and the positioning oflarge, highly distinctive drillholes was broadly stereotypic.Metabolic rates for T. longstaffi ranged from46.2 lg O2 h-1 for a 1.7-g tissue dry mass individual to18.1 lg O2 h-1 for a 0.98-g tissue dry mass specimen.These rates are amongst the lowest so far reported fora gastropod mollusc but are within the range previouslyrecorded for polar invertebrates. We suggest thatT. longstaffi is well adapted for the low temperature,but highly seasonal, Antarctic conditions, with a lowenergy strategy and the ability to withstand highlyextended periods of limited food availabilitylast_img read more