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Size range of Utricularia gibba prey?

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#1 Guest_EricaWieser_*

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 08:47 PM

Does anyone know the range of sizes that Utricularia gibba prey can be? I have some U. gibba in my Elassoma gilberti breeding tank and I'm curious if it is eating any of the fry. I have tried to research the size range of prey that Utricularia gibba is capable of eating, but haven't been able to find any information.

According to http://www.nanfa.org.../elassoma.shtml , the egg diameter of Elassoma okefenokee (a very similar species to Elassoma gilberti) is 1.5 to 1.7 mm immediately after spawning and 2.0 to 2.1 mm at hatching time. It goes on to say that the length at which the fry changed from prolarvae to postlarvae is 3.2 to 3.5 mm, which I guess is the change from yolk sack feeding fry to free swimming in aquarist speak. So I guess the fry wouldn't be vulnerable to Utricularia gibba, really, until they were free swimming. In my experience the yolk-sack larvae tend to sit on the ground a whole lot.

So now that I think I can conclude that the smallest free swimming okefenokee fry would be 3.2 mm, the big question is what is maximum size of particles eaten by Utricularia gibba? If it's 3.2 mm or more, then it could be eating my fry.

#2 Guest_EricaWieser_*

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 08:52 PM

I found the answer. Quoting http://www.vinv.ucr....Gordon-Prey.pdf , "Mean bladder length and width were 1651.81±397.00 μm and 1 219.33±313.75 μm...for U. gibba ....Bladder size expressed as length by width was 2.11±0.95 mm2 for U. gibba..."

That makes the maximum bladder diameter of Utricularia gibba 2 mm. They seem to be only able to hold 2.2 mm^2 of space. I doubt they can eat something their own size or larger, and fry were not listed as part of U. gibba's diet in the paper. My 3.2 mm fry are probably safe. ^_^

Edited by EricaWieser, 07 January 2012 - 08:56 PM.

#3 Guest_VicC_*

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 11:04 PM

But will the bladderwort eat the (live) food before the Elassoma?

#4 Guest_EricaWieser_*

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 09:43 AM

But will the bladderwort eat the (live) food before the Elassoma?

Yes, the bladderwort is eating the microworms. No, they are not eating all of the microworms. I add so many to the tank that the water is actually cloudy with worms.

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