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Feeding habits of blackmouth catshark Galeus melastomus Rafinesque, 1810 and velvet belly lantern shark Etmopterus spinax (Linnaeus, 1758) in the western Mediterranean

AutorFanelli, Emanuela ; Rey, Jorge; Torres, Pedro; Gil de Sola, Luis
Fecha de publicaciónago-2009
EditorJohn Wiley & Sons
CitaciónJournal of Applied Ichthyology 25(s1): 83-93 (2009)
ResumenFeeding habits of blackmouth catshark Galeus melastomus and velvet belly lantern shark Etmopterus spinax were studied throughout the Spanish Mediterranean, from the Alboran Sea to the Gulf of Lion, between 400 and 790 m depth. Diets were studied taking into account size and depth differences. Included within the trophic guild of non-migratory macroplankton feeders, both species preferably exploited mesopelagic resources (mainly natantian decapods, euphausiids, mesopelagic fish and cephalopods). G. melastomus mostly preyed on decapod crustaceans (46% in terms of IRI), with cephalopods, euphausiids and mesopelagic fish as a secondary prey item. The diet of E. spinax was composed primarily of mesopelagic fish (61.4% in terms of IRI), with decapod crustaceans and cephalopods of secondary importance. Both species showed ontogenetic changes in their diets: small blackmouth catshark specimens (between 150 and 350 mm total length) mainly consumed cephalopods, medium size individuals (351–450 mm TL) consumed decapod crustaceans, while larger specimens (larger than 451 mm TL) seemed to be more generalist-feeders. Smaller specimens of E. spinax (150– 250 mm TL) mostly fed on small crustaceans and cephalopods, whilst an increase in the consumption of mesopelagic fish (mycthophids and Stomiiformes) was detected in larger individuals (251–450 mm TL). Diet of G. melastomus also changed throughout the narrow depth range explored, mainly consumed euphausiids and mesopelagic fish between 400 and 500 m depth, whilst preferably exploiting natantian decapods and cephalopods below 500 m of depth. However, this trend may be correlated to the larger-deeper trend found for this species. Slight but not significant differences were found in E. spinax diet by depth, with euphausiids mainly consumed at lower depths (400–500 m). In a multispecies MDS analysis, diets of G. melastomus and E. spinax were separated and the ANOSIM test proved evidence for significant differences in the diets of the two species (R = 0.25; P = 0.05), mainly attributed to the stronger pelagic habits of E. spinax in comparison with G. melastomus. Low overlap (by Schoener Index) also occurred when comparing specimens of the same size range. In general, the higher occurrence of benthic prey in the diet of G. melastomus (i.e. the brachyuran crab Geryon longipes, the thalassinid shrimp Calocaris macandrae) than in E. spinax pointed to a stronger pelagic behavior for the velvet belly lantern shark. Both multivariate analysis and the Levins Index pointed to a narrow niche breadth for the two sharks. A trend of increasing fullness was found for both species in the highly productive areas of the Alboran Sea and Vera Gulf, probably related to higher resource availability, enhanced by local upwellings.
Descripción11 pages, 7 figures,7 tables
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0426.2008.01112.x
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