Predator-prey body size relationships when predators can consume prey larger than themselves

Takefumi Nakazawa, Shin Ya Ohba, Masayuki Ushio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As predator-prey interactions are inherently size-dependent, predator and prey body sizes are key to understanding their feeding relationships. To describe predator-prey size relationships (PPSRs) when predators can consume prey larger than themselves, we conducted field observations targeting three aquatic hemipteran bugs, and assessed their body masses and those of their prey for each hunting event. The data revealed that their PPSR varied with predator size and species identity, although the use of the averaged sizes masked these effects. Specifically, two predators had slightly decreased predator-prey mass ratios (PPMRs) during growth, whereas the other predator specialized on particular sizes of prey, thereby showing a clear positive size-PPMR relationship.We discussed how these patterns could be different from fish predators swallowing smaller prey whole.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20121193
JournalBiology Letters
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun 23

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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