A qualitative and quantitative investigation of the behaviour of the longhorn sculpin, Myoxocephalus octodecemspinosus (Mitchill 1815), with special reference to feeding

Jenkins, Bruce Wayne (1974) A qualitative and quantitative investigation of the behaviour of the longhorn sculpin, Myoxocephalus octodecemspinosus (Mitchill 1815), with special reference to feeding. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Behavioural observations of Myoxocephalus octodecemspinosus were made by diving at two locations on the Avalon Peninsula. Qualitative descriptions of the daily activity were compiled with two fundamental postures, REST and ALERT, and four behaviours, rooting, agonism, locomotion, and feeding, being observed. A behavioural profile for the longhorn sculpin was derived from these descriptions. -- Feeding behaviour occurs in a stereotyped pattern, similar in its basic form to the feeding of other marine and freshwater predators. Despite these behavioural characteristics, the longhorn is an ineffective predator of smaller benthic fish species. Field observations indicated that the longhorn is primarily a visual feeder. Laboratory experiments however, revealed that this species also employs other sensory modes for the detection of food. -- Stomach contents, intestinal contents, and occurrence of digestive stages in specimens caught over a 24 hour period, indicated cyclic feeding during the capelin (Mallotus villosus), spawning period. However, an Analysis of Variance (MANOVA), revealed that time was not the most important factor affecting ingestion. -- Caloric analysis of selected prey organisms indicated that capelin, with a value of 5341 calories per gram dry weight, is the most energy rich food resource for inshore populations of the longhorn sculpin. Large scale movements of M. octodecemspinosus to shallower, inshore waters of Newfoundland during the early summer are suggested to be a phenomenon related to the availability of this food resource.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7336
Item ID: 7336
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [73]-78.
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: 1974
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Fishes--Newfoundland and Labrador; Sculpins

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