Morphology, body size and behaviour of recently-metamorphosed sea lampreys, Petromyzon marinus, from the lower River Severn, and their relevance to the onset of parasitic feeding
Bird, D. J., Potter, I. C., Hardisty, M. and Baker, B. I. (1994) Morphology, body size and behaviour of recently-metamorphosed sea lampreys, Petromyzon marinus, from the lower River Severn, and their relevance to the onset of parasitic feeding. Journal of Fish Biology, 44 (1). pp. 67-74. ISSN 0022-1112
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.1994.tb01586...
Several hundred recently-metamorphosed Petromyzon marinus were caught during heavy freshwater discharge in the River Severn on the night of 30 November/1 December 1988. The total lengths of a subsample of 42 males and 82 females ranged from 155 to 218 mm, with a mean of 182 mm in both sexes. The buccal funnel, eyes, fins and the teeth on the suctorial disc and tongue-like piston were very well-developed. When placed in full-strength sea water, the lampreys fed on bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), leaving prominent scars on these hosts. The morphology, body size and time of capture of the River Severn sea lampreys provide very strong circumstantial evidence that these lampreys had been feeding for some weeks. Since they were caught when moving downstream and were capable of feeding in sea water, they were presumably about to begin their parasitic marine life.