Application of logistic regression analysis to predict cannibalism in orange-spotted grouper Epinephelus coioides (Hamilton) fry



Cannibalism is frequently observed in larviculture of orange-spotted grouper Epinephelus coioides. Previously, based on measurements of morphometric characters, a linear equation of total length (TL) of prey to cannibals was proposed: TLprey = 0.80 TLcannibal – 1.50. To verify the reliability of the equation, experiments were performed with pairs of fish with different TLs. Cannibalism occurred only when the cannibal-prey size ratios were equal to or larger than that predicted by the equation. To predict the probability of cannibalism among the grouper of known TLs, a logistic regression model was proposed. The logistic regression model is:

display math

The logistic regression model showed the following: when either TLprey or TLcannibal is constant, the probability of cannibalism increases with increase in the cannibal-prey size ratios; if given a constant cannibal-prey size ratio, probability of cannibalism is lower in early stages than in later stages. The prediction contrasts with that calculated from the linear equation where the minimum cannibal-prey size ratios decrease with size of the cannibal. However, the prediction matches observed rearing experiences: cannibals prefer smaller prey to larger ones and the cannibalism rate declines as fry age.