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Hydrobiological Journal
SJR: 0.227 SNIP: 0.901 CiteScore™: 0.5

ISSN Imprimer: 0018-8166
ISSN En ligne: 1943-5991

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Hydrobiological Journal

DOI: 10.1615/HydrobJ.v34.i6.80
pages 54-61

The Ecology of a Predatory Black Sea Turbellarian

V. V. Murina
Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Sevastopol, Ukraine
V. A. Grintsov
Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Sevastopol, Ukraine


Turbellarians Stylochus tauricus were found to be associated with colonies of Balanus improvisus barnacles on which they feed. It was shown that the average daily amount of food consumed by a 9−12-mm turbellarian feeding of barnacles 10−12 mm in diameter is 0.42 mg dry weight. The maximal density of S. tauricus (0.26 ind./cm2) was observed at a depth of 12 m in autumn. Stylochus tauricus can feed on young barnacles of another species, Balanus eburneus, whereas predation on Mytilus galloprovincialis mussels is rare. The abundance of S. tauricus turbellarians directly correlates with that of prey consumed. The pattern of S. tauricus distribution at depths ranging from 3.5 to 12 m is relatively uniform, whereas that of barnacles suggests their aggregation.

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