Size preferences and behaviors of native yellow perch foraging on invasive round gobies

Michael J. Weber, John M. Dettmers, David H. Wahl, Sergiusz J. Czesny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Predation is one of the primary mechanisms that shape aquatic food webs and predator-prey interactions are typically highly dependent on sizes of both forager and its prey. Round goby Neogobius melanostomus is a recent invader to the Great Lakes and can be an important prey item for native predators. However, predation patterns on round gobies have received limited attention. We assessed size-specific predator-prey interactions between invasive round gobies and native yellow perch Perca flavescens by comparing prey preferences for three size classes of adult yellow perch foraging on six size classes of round gobies. Small yellow perch preferred the smallest round gobies available, medium sized yellow perch increased the range of round goby sizes consumed but still preferred smaller prey, whereas large yellow perch consumed larger round gobies and excluded the smallest prey size. Yellow perch foraging behaviors indicated that intermediate sizes of round gobies were struck at most frequently and that pursuit and handling time increased whereas capture efficiency and prey profitability decreased with round goby size. Our results indicate that predator-prey interactions between yellow perch and round gobies may be size dependent and heavily influenced by capture efficiency and prey profitability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-587
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Great Lakes Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Foraging behaviors
  • Predation
  • Prey preference
  • Prey profitability
  • Round goby
  • Yellow perch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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