Ravenous shrimp added to Lake Ontario's list of unwanted guests
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 18 January 2007 12:58

A half-inch-long blood-red shrimp is raising concerns in Lake Ontario.
The shrimp is another invasive species from Eurasia. Scientists fear it could mean dire consequences for the lake's food chain.

The discovery of bloody red mysid was made in a lake sample taken near Oswego last spring. The red mysid is closely related to the possum shrimp that live in the Great Lakes. It is native to the Caspian Sea and Black Sea areas of Eurasia _ the same region that sent zebra mussels, quagga mussels and gobies, other invasive species, to the Great Lakes.

Like most non-native species in the Great Lakes, the red mysid is presumed to have arrived in the ballast of oceangoing ships.

Typically, the shrimp feast on phytoplankton and zooplankton, the foundation of the lake's food chain. Zooplankton are also what many young fish thrive on.

So far, scientists have found red mysid only off Nine Mile Point in eastern Lake Ontario, but they are likely more widespread. They're asking the public's help to catalog the extent of the invasion.
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