Banded Sculpin eating a Southern Redbelly Dace
This morning when I came out into the living room I noticed that our big Banded Sculpin (Cottus carolinae) was eating one of the Southern Redbelly Dace (Phoxinus erythrogaster)! Fortunately it wasn't the prettiest dace we had, although it's sad, that's how nature works. Took the Sculpin over three hours to swallow it completely, and even now he's looking pretty distended and is pumping quite a bit of water past his gills; I guess digesting such a relatively large meal is an intense effort! Wish I could have seen him actually capture the dace, since they are topside fish and don't approach the tank bottom very frequently.
Guess the next time I go out I'll have to stock back up on Dace, because I lost quite a few to the crayfish before I thinned those out too!
The rock he's resting on is a fossil my advisor found one of the last trips to sample; it's actually from Tyner Creek, the type locality for Eurycea tynerensis (the species I'm working on). He knows a whole lot more about fossils than I do though, and I can't even remember what type this one was.
Nikkor 60 macro, SB-400 and diffuser (from above tank).