A search for predators and food selectivity of two native species of Hydra (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) from Brazil
Keywords:Hydra viridissima, Hydra salmacidis, predation, prey selection, feeding
AbstractThe Hydra is the most common representative of freshwater cnidarians. In general, it is found in freshwaters on every continent, with the exception of Antarctica. The aim of the present study is to gather biological and ecological data on aspects of two species of Hydra native to Brazil: Hydra viridissima and Hydra salmacidis. Predation and food selectivity experiments were performed to assess the possible predators and the prey preferences, respectively, of the two species. The results indicate that the two species of Hydra were not consumed by any of the predators that were tested, which are typical predators of invertebrates in freshwater: nymphs of Odonata Anisoptera and the phantom midge larvae of Chaoborus sp. (Insecta), adults of Copepoda Cyclopoida (Crustacea) and the small fish Poecilia reticulata. It was observed that the smaller Hydra, H. viridissima, positively selected the nauplii and copepodites of calanoid copepods and small cladocerans and rejected large prey, such as the adults of calanoid copepods and ostracods. The larger H. salmacidis, besides the nauplii and copepodites of the calanoid copepods and small cladocerans, also positively selected the large adults of the calanoid copepods. It can be concluded that both H. viridissima and H. salmacidis are most likely preyed on little or not preyed on at all in many freshwater bodies, as they are top predators in the food chain. At the same time, they are efficient predators, and a positive relationship was observed between the prey size and the Hydra species size. Food selectivity was related to prey size as well as other prey characteristics, such as carapace thickness and swimming efficiency.
How to Cite
Massaro, F. C., Negreiros, N. F., & Rocha, O. (2013). A search for predators and food selectivity of two native species of Hydra (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) from Brazil. Biota Neotropica, 13(2). Retrieved from //www.biotaneotropica.org.br/BN/article/view/1246