Date of Award

Summer 1983

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

Raymond W. Alden

Committee Member

Ray S. Birdsong

Committee Member

Anthony J. Provenzano

Committee Member

David S. Peters

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.O35 M32


The in situ growth and feeding behavior of juvenile spot, Leiostomus xanthurus Lacepede, was investigated for populations in the nursery area of the James River, Virginia. Growth of juvenile spot was found to be fairly rapid (11.34 mm/month, standard length) during their first summer in the nursery grounds, but it levelled off in the autumn. The mean size of spot after the first year was calculated to be 195 mm total length. The weight-length relationship was log W = -5.018 + 3.246(log L), where W = wet weight in grams and L = standard length in millimeters.

Juvenile spot appeared to exhibit two different feeding strategies. During July, spot fed at a constant rate during the daylight hours and ate very little at night. In August and September, spot had approximately the same amount of food in their stomachs at all times. The in situ gastric evacuation rates were -0.157 per hour for July and -0.0062 per hour for August. The daily rations were 1.259% of dry body weight per day for July, 0.384% of dry body weight per day for August, and 0.370% of dry body weight per day for September. These values were much lower than the values obtained from laboratory derived data. Stepwise multiple regression analysis indicated daily fluctuation in temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen did not affect the gastric evacuation rate.


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