Document Type


Publication Date

April 2015

Publication Title




Issue Number







Shrimp, Stable isotopes, Diet, Trophic interactions, Muscle tissue, Crustaceans, Lipids, Invertebrates


Aquaculture and Fisheries | Biology | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology | Zoology


Stable isotope analysis has provided insights into the trophic ecology of a wide diversity of animals. Knowledge about isotopic incorporation rates and isotopic discrimination between the consumer and its diet for different tissue types is essential for interpreting stable isotope data, but these parameters remain understudied in many animal taxa and particularly in aquatic invertebrates. We performed a 292-day diet shift experiment on 92 individuals of the predatory mantis shrimp, Neogonodactylus bredini, to quantify carbon and nitrogen incorporation rates and isotope discrimination factors in muscle and hemolymph tissues. Average isotopic discrimination factors between mantis shrimp muscle and the new diet were 3.0 ± 0.6 ‰ and 0.9 ± 0.3 ‰ for carbon and nitrogen, respectively, which is contrary to what is seen in many other animals (e.g. C and N discrimination is generally 0–1 ‰ and 3–4 ‰, respectively). Surprisingly, the average residence time of nitrogen in hemolymph (28.9 ± 8.3 days) was over 8 times longer than that of carbon (3.4 ± 1.4 days). In muscle, the average residence times of carbon and nitrogen were of the same magnitude (89.3 ± 44.4 and 72.8 ± 18.8 days, respectively). We compared the mantis shrimps’ incorporation rates, along with rates from four other invertebrate taxa from the literature, to those predicted by an allometric equation relating carbon incorporation rate to body mass that was developed for teleost fishes and sharks. The rate of carbon incorporation into muscle was consistent with rates predicted by this equation. Our findings provide new insight into isotopic discrimination factors and incorporation rates in invertebrates with the former showing a different trend than what is commonly observed in other animals.


This article was published in deVries MS, del Rio CM, Tunstall TS, Dawson TE (2015) Isotopic Incorporation Rates and Discrimination Factors in Mantis Shrimp Crustaceans. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0122334. © 2015 deVries et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.