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Journal of Marine Biology
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 484392, 6 pages
Research Article

Comparison of Three Methods for Determining the Prey Preference of the Muricid Snail Reishia clavigera

Shimoda Marine Research Center, University of Tsukuba, 5-10-1 Shimoda, Shizuoka 415-0025, Japan

Received 16 December 2014; Revised 24 April 2015; Accepted 28 April 2015

Academic Editor: Evgeny Pakhomov

Copyright © 2015 Morihiko Tomatsuri and Koetsu Kon. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We propose an appropriate method for investigating the prey preferences of the muricid snail Reishia clavigera (Küster, 1860) with limited collection of live prey. We compared 3 methods for examining the prey preference. The first was a predation experiment, conducted with dead prey instead of live prey. The second was a prey choice test using a few preys. In this experiment, both live and dead prey were used. The last method was a stable isotope analysis of R. clavigera and its putative prey items. Using live prey, bivalves were the most preferred prey, but goose barnacle was the most preferred prey species in experiments using dead prey. The carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis supported the live prey experiment. Since R. clavigera prefer preying on live prey but will scavenge or cannibalize when no other food is available in natural habitats, experimental methods using dead prey are not suitable for investigating its prey preferences. Considering the damage to natural habitats, the prey choice test is ecologically benign. Taken together, our findings suggested the prey choice test is the most appropriate method of identifying the prey preferences of muricid snails when large numbers of live preys are difficult to collect.