Data from: Predatory behavior of the cave shrimp Creaseria morleyi (Creaser, 1936) (Caridea: Palaemonidae), the blind hunter of the Yucatán cenotes, Mexico
Chávez-Solís, Efraín Miguel; Mejía-Ortíz, Luis M.; Simões, Nuno (2018), Data from: Predatory behavior of the cave shrimp Creaseria morleyi (Creaser, 1936) (Caridea: Palaemonidae), the blind hunter of the Yucatán cenotes, Mexico, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.rv801
Recent studies of the trophic structure of the underwater cave ecosystems in the Yucatán Peninsula have regarded the largest crustacean inhabitant, the blind palaemonid shrimp Creaseria morleyi (Creaser, 1936), as a scavenger and predator without any evidence on the behavior of the shrimp. The predatory behavior of C. morleyi is here described for the first time, verifying its classification as a predator. A variety of prey targets, including the atyid shrimp Typhlatya sp., were used to demonstrate predation and saprophagous feeding behavior in C. morleyi using in vitro and in situ observations. Scanning electron microscope images show the structures of the antennules and antennae that could be responsible for prey detection. Findings show that C. morleyi is capable of hunting a variety of prey, most likely depending on their relative size. Observations on the feeding strategy of C. morleyi suggest any animal within a particular size range is a potential prey, including its own species, which suggests the hypothesis that growth may be favored in early stages of life in order to reach a size refuge from predation. These observations provide information of some of the adaptations necessary for a predator to thrive in an aphotic and oligotrophic environment.