For the first time, yellowfin bream has been recorded grasping and manoeuvring shells, pebbles, leaves and sticks in search for hidden prey.
TropWATER scientists, Dr Brendan Ebner, who captured the behavioural footage, said this kind of foraging strategy has been reported in other species such as wrasses on coral reefs, logperch in Northern America and grunters in Australian freshwaters – but this is the first record of an estuarine bream doing this behaviour.
“Yellowfin bream are a popular fish for recreational fishers along the east coast of Australia and are renowned as wily critters. It’s no surprise to see this species has this clever foraging strategy,” he said.
The observations including a video clip are published in the journal Food Webs. In the brief article, Dr Ebner speculates that global shifts in oyster production may have had far reaching impacts on food webs in ways that are not fully appreciated.
Ebner, B. C. (2021). Yellowfin bream, Acanthopagrus australis, reorientate individual shells in search of prey. Food Webs, 29, e00216.