Determining the impact of predators on juvenile spiny lobsters living on reefs is important for understanding recruitment processes that ultimately help determine the size of economically important lobster populations. The present study describes a novel approach for observing attempted predation on live juvenile spiny lobster Jasus edwardsii in situ, by presenting the lobster in a transparent container that was lit with infrared light to enable continuous monitoring, even at night, by video recording. This technique can be used to provide valuable information on overall relative predation pressure from comparative locations and habitats, as well as identify potential predators, their mode of predation, and the timing of their of predation activity. For example, predation attempts on juvenile J. edwardsii by the spotted wrasse Notolabrus celidotus were recorded only from 0500 to 1400 hours (daytime) and from 1900 to 2100 hours (dusk), whereas the activity by the northern conger eel Conger wilsoni was observed only for the period between 2100 and 0200 hours (nocturnal). This method of assessing predation of juvenile lobsters provides considerable advantages over previously used tethering methods, by allowing continuous observations over a long time period (≥24h), including night time, while also eliminating experimental mortality of juvenile lobsters. © CSIRO 2016.
Research Hub Investigator(s)
Hesse, J., Stanley, J.A. & Jeffs, A.G. 2016, "Lobster in a bottle: A novel technique for observing the predation of juvenile spiny lobster Jasus edwardsii", Marine and Freshwater Research, vol. 67, no. 11, pp. 1625-1633.
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