Nassau grouper stomach of the day

A measly little crab in a 14.5″ grouper.  This was a grouper we caught on a natural patch reef, and this crab prey item is consistent with our anecdotal observations of grouper diets.  That is, grouper <18″ in natural hard bottom or reef habitat largely feed on crabs and other invertebrates, whereas on our artificial reefs they almost exclusively feed on small fish (2nd photo in the sequence above).  Since fish are a higher quality prey (less shell, more meat), the grouper on our artificial reefs may be able to grow faster and have a higher body condition.  That is something we are exploring now.

By | 2015-04-23T18:14:40-05:00 April 23rd, 2015|Categories: Artificial Reefs, Coral, Fish, Invertebrates|0 Comments

About the Author:

Craig Layman
My lab’s interdisciplinary pursuits provide for a multi-faceted understanding of environmental change in the coastal realm. We are ecologists, asking questions that span population, community, ecosystem and evolutionary sub-disciplines. We often use a food web based perspective, exploring top-down (e.g., predation) and bottom-up (e.g., nutrient excretion) mechanisms by which animals affect ecosystem processes. All of our efforts are framed within a broader outreach framework, directly integrating science and education, using approaches such as this website.

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