Re: NANFA-L-- Keeping Sculpin

dlmcneely at
Mon, 12 Sep 2005 12:40:29 -0500

Sculpins love to eat crayfish. Yet, interestingly enough, in a
laboratory situation with mottled sculpins, crayfish, and smallmouth
bass, sculpins themselves enjoyed a higher survival rate over 48 hours
with crayfish present (along with bass) than if there were no crayfish
but there were bass. This was probably because the sculpins spent more
time in shelter themselves when crayfish were present, and partly
because the bass payed less attention to the sculpins when crayfish
were present. These are actual experimental results, not anecdotal

BTW, it is interesting to watch bass interact with scuplins in a kiddie
wading pool (the units where we did the above experiments). A bass
will move all the way across the pool to take a sculpin in a single
swoop. But with crayfish, the bass stalk, and attack from the side.
The sculpin seems to never see the bass coming, but the crayfish
responds to the bass by turning to face it and spreading its chelae
widely (may make it look bigger, and bass may also learn that chelae
can inflict hurt?)

David L. McNeely, Ph.D., Professor of Biology
Langston University; P.O. Box 1500
Langston, OK 73050; email: dlmcneely at
telephone: (405) 466-6025; fax: 405) 466-3307
home page

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