Zoological Studies

Vol. 49 No. 2, 2010

Behavioral Interactions of the Copepod Temora turbinata with Potential Ciliate Prey

Cheng-Han Wu1, Hans-Uwe Dahms2, Edward J. Buskey3, J. Rudi Strickler4, and Jiang-Shiou Hwang1,*

1Institute of Marine Biology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 202, Taiwan
2Green Life Science Department, College of Natural Science, Sangmyung University, 7 Hongij-dong, Jongno-gu, SEOUL 110-743, South Korea
3University of Texas at Austin, Marine Science Institute, Port Aransas, TX 78373, USA
4University of Wisconsin, Great Lakes WATER Institute, Milwaukee, WI 53204, USA

Cheng-Han Wu, Hans-Uwe Dahms, Edward J. Buskey, J. Rudi Strickler, and Jiang-Shiou Hwang (2010) Behavioral interactions between the calanoid copepod Temora turbinata and the ciliates Strobilidium sp. and an undetermined species of spinning ciliate were video-documented and analyzed.  Videotaped Temora-ciliate encounters were image-analyzed to calculate ciliate swimming trajectories, T. turbinata attack kinematics, and reaction distances to the ciliates.  Wide variances were found in the measured reaction distances.  The spinning ciliate was able to sense a copepod from a longer distance and escaped from the feeding current with a faster response than did Strobilidium sp.  Our observations suggest that spinning and other evasive behaviors such as jumping are predator-deterrent strategies of ciliates.  The copepod could differentiate between living and non-living organisms and ejected non-ingestible particles.  Incorporating species-specific interactions from behavioral studies will improve future food web models.

Key words: Copepod, Ciliate, Behavior, Swimming, Predator/prey interaction.

*Correspondence: Tel: 886-935289642.  Fax: 886-2-24629464.   E-mail:jshwang@mail.ntou.edu.tw