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Male-biased predation of a cave fish by a giant water bug


Tobler, M; Franssen, C M; Plath, M (2008). Male-biased predation of a cave fish by a giant water bug. Naturwissenschaften, 95(8):775-779.

Abstract

Male-biased predation has been described from
several epigean species, and in many cases, intrinsic
differences between the sexes (such as male ornaments) have been suggested as an explanation. Here we report on male-biased predation of a cave fish (Poecilia mexicana) by an aquatic insect (Belostoma sp.) in a Mexican sulfur cave. P. mexicana use aquatic surface respiration (ASR) to
survive in their sulfidic, hypoxic habitat. We found that males typically exhibit more ASR activity than females, which leads to increased exposure to the sit-and-wait predator that catches fish near the water surface. Our finding is novel, because male vulnerability to predation is not directly related to male traits involved in courtship, but rather due to other sexual differences in behavior and ultimately, oxygen demands.

Male-biased predation has been described from
several epigean species, and in many cases, intrinsic
differences between the sexes (such as male ornaments) have been suggested as an explanation. Here we report on male-biased predation of a cave fish (Poecilia mexicana) by an aquatic insect (Belostoma sp.) in a Mexican sulfur cave. P. mexicana use aquatic surface respiration (ASR) to
survive in their sulfidic, hypoxic habitat. We found that males typically exhibit more ASR activity than females, which leads to increased exposure to the sit-and-wait predator that catches fish near the water surface. Our finding is novel, because male vulnerability to predation is not directly related to male traits involved in courtship, but rather due to other sexual differences in behavior and ultimately, oxygen demands.

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21 citations in Web of Science®
23 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Zoology (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Belostoma . Male-biased mortality. Oxygen demands. Poecilia mexicana (Poeciliidae). Predator–prey interaction
Language:English
Date:25 April 2008
Deposited On:23 Oct 2008 14:29
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:30
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0028-1042
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s00114-008-0382-z
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-4355

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