Meet the goby guts survivors

Capital News Service
LANSING – Not many of the Earth’s creatures can say that they’ve survived being chewed up and pooped out – but the ostracods of the Great Lakes can. Ostracods – also known as seed shrimp – can survive getting eaten by the round goby, an invasive fish that comes from central Eurasia, according to a recent study. The study, published in the “Journal of Great Lakes Research,” suggests that the round goby can eat small freshwater mussels, but are less well-adapted to feeding on other hard-bodied prey such as ostracods. In the study, 16.6 percent of the ostracods eaten by gobies were found alive after they were excreted. The finding is important because if non-native and invasive prey survive getting eaten by gobies, then they could be spread as far as the fish swim.

One invasive species may have found a niche

Capital News Service
LANSING – Can invasive species be good news – rather than bad – for native fish in the Great Lakes? That sounds counterintuitive, but a new study shows that the invasive round goby has become an important food source for several native species, especially smallmouth bass, but with benefits also for yellow perch and walleye. Even so, there are still unknowns, including whether the round goby transports contaminants up through the food chain, said Derek Crane, the lead author and a research associate at Lake Superior State University. The study calls the round goby “one of the most successful aquatic invaders” in the Great Lakes. It’s a bottom-dweller originating in Eurasia.