Marine Biology

, Volume 148, Issue 1, pp 141–147 | Cite as

Daily and seasonal feeding rhythmicity of Palaemonetes varians (Leach 1814) from southwestern Europe

  • J. AguzziEmail author
  • J. A. Cuesta
  • M. Librero
  • J. Toja
Research Article


The feeding activity rhythm of Palaemonetes varians (Leach 1814) was studied by collecting stomachs over a 24-h cycle in four different seasons of 1996 and spring–summer of 1997 to assess a regulation of this behaviur dependent upon seasonal variations in photoperiod length. A total of 6,692 stomachs were collected from a population reared in an extensive earthen pond located in the Guadalquivir Estuary salt marshes (Spain). Stomach fullness (f) classification was performed with a stereomicroscope by means of a four-point visual qualitative scale. Results showed that a high proportion of stomachs were empty in all seasons considered and a great variability in the data occurred irrespective of the time of the day. The number of full stomachs at each catch were represented over 24-h for each sampling season. Time series showed the occurrence of a feeding activity rhythm phased at day–night transitions. The sunset peak occurred in all months of sampling, while the sunrise one occurred in summer. Results are discussed in relation to available data on behavior, moulting, and reproduction of this and other species of the same genus.


Stomach Fullness Time Series Plot Earthen Pond Behavioral Rhythmicity Feeding Rhythmicity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We wish to express our gratitude to S. Algarín, M. del Río, N. Mazuelos, S. Hernández, M. Ruiz, and to the manager and the rest of the staff of Pesquerías Isla Mayor S.A. (PIMSA) for providing facilities during sampling. We also express our gratitude to Dr R. Sforza (Fideuram) for advice during the manuscript preparation. The second author (JAC) was funded during the field sampling by OTRI Research Fellowship (founded by MEC), and is now currently sponsored by the “Ramón y Cajal” Fellowship (MEC). The experiments presented in this work comply with the current laws of Spain.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Aguzzi
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • J. A. Cuesta
    • 2
  • M. Librero
    • 3
  • J. Toja
    • 3
  1. 1.Neuroscience InstituteMorehouse School of MedicineS.W. AtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Instituto de Ciencias Marinas de Andalucìa (CSIC)Puerto Real (Cádiz)Spain
  3. 3.Departamento de Ecología, Facultad de Biología de SevillaUniversidad de SevillaSevillaSpain
  4. 4.Insitut de Ciencies del Mar (ICM-CSIC)BarcelonaSpain

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