Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science


Variation, or modulation, of suction feeding performance across two prey location treatments, as measured by peak subambient pressure generation, was studied in the Florida largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides floridanus. Previous studies of suction feeding in centrarchids have excluded possible sources of performance variation to minimize the modulatory response. Florida bass are known to modulate their feeding kinematics when exposed to prey at different levels of elusiveness, and were in turn predicted to vary suction pressure generation when exposed to these conditions. Eight bass fed Palaemonetes sp. shrimp in an open water (elusive) setting and in a vegetated (non-elusive) setting were found to generate significantly different amounts of suction during prey capture (Fli48=5.676, p=0.021). Principal component analysis of variables derived from high speed digital video footage found that the suite of behaviors associated with the feeding strike also differed across prey location treatments. Bass feeding on open water prey approached at higher velocity, exhibited faster cranial kinematics, and generated larger values of suction force, while bass feeding on vegetated prey approached more slowly, had slower cranial kinematics, and generated smaller values of suction. Florida bass clearly modulate their repertoire of feeding activities in response to differing

prey capture conditions.


Animal Sciences | Aquaculture and Fisheries | Medical Sciences