Are Grey Plovers true Jelly Bon lovers? First record of Grey Plovers (Pluvialis squatarola) deliberately feeding on barrel jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo) in the Western Palearctic
Keywords:Black-bellied Plover, shorebird, wader, jellyfish, coastal ecosystems
Coelenterates are not considered important food items for waders such as Grey Plovers (Pluvialis squatarola), although this has rarely been investigated in detail. During three days of fieldwork on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast in October 2020 Grey Plovers were documented deliberately choosing and swallowing barrel jellyfish Rhizostoma pulmo (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomatidae) while foraging on sand seashore where Scyphozoan jellyfish are often stranded. According to peer-reviewed literature, there is to-date no evidence of Grey Plovers consuming scyphozoan medusae, particularly as a specific choice for their food components. As a result of the present study, it is concluded that barrel jellyfish is part of the diet of Grey Plovers on the Black Sea coast and is purposely chosen by them. So far, this is the first video-recorded observation and published record of such an event in Europe and Western Palearctic. It suggests that coelenterates may be more important food items for waders than previousely believed and shows the potential of medusae to become an important food alternative for them.
- 2023-12-28 (2)
- 2023-12-16 (1)
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