Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The influence of light, substrate, and fish on the habitat preferences of the invasive bloody red shrimp, Hemimysis anomala.

Abstract

The invasive bloody red shrimp, Hemimysis anomala, is a novel organism in the Laurentian Great Lakes region that utilizes benthic and open-water habitat. Hemimysis is predicted to impact nearshore fish communities in the Northeastern USA where its range is expanding, either negatively through predation of shared zooplankton prey or positively as high-calorie prey. In this experimental study, we examined the factors influencing Hemimysis' benthic habitat selection, vertical distribution, and susceptibility to fish predation. In the presence of fish cues, Hemimysis preferred cobble over other benthic substrates (Dreissena mussels, pebble, or sand) regardless of light conditions; in dark conditions without a fish present, Hemimysis preferred open waters with sand habitat. Light and fish cues also interacted to influence the vertical distribution of Hemimysis, with the majority of mysids selecting depths that minimized perceived cumulative risk. The mean feeding rates of young-of-year (YOY) alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), adult round goby (Neogobius melanostomus), YOY yellow perch (Perca flavescens), adult pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus), and YOY lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) varied among species, prey densities, and substrate (range = 0.77-57 mysids/fish/h). In general, feeding rates were highest for alewife, a non-native species in the Great Lakes basin, and in refuge-free conditions for all species, except for non-native round goby, which fed at similar rates regardless of prey refuge availability. Collectively, our results suggest that fish feeding success is contingent upon the interaction of light and Hemimysis refuge availability due to behavioral modifications of Hemimysis in the presence of fish and adverse light conditions.