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Feeding ecology of black anglerfish Lophius budegassa: seasonal, bathymetric and ontogenetic shifts
Preciado, I.; Velasco, F.; Olaso, I.; Landa, J. (2006). Feeding ecology of black anglerfish Lophius budegassa: seasonal, bathymetric and ontogenetic shifts. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 86(4): 877-884
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Diets; Feeding; Food availability; Seasonal variations; Stomach content; Vertical distribution; Lophius budegassa Spinola, 1807 [WoRMS]; ANE, Cantabrian Sea; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Preciado, I.
  • Velasco, F.
  • Olaso, I.
  • Landa, J.

Abstract
    The diet of black anglerfish Lophius budegassa is described for the Cantabrian Sea (North Atlantic coast of Spain) from seasonal samples obtained onboard commercial vessels from January 1993 to December 1994. The stomach contents of fish caught on the continental shelf were examined, and differences in the diet in relation to age-class, season and depth were studied. The age-classes were grouped according to a cluster analysis of diet composition. As a result, three groups were obtained: the first two corresponded to juveniles between 2 and 7 years old, and the third one corresponded to adults between 8 and 15 years old. Although Micromesistius poutassou was an important prey for all ages, the youngest black anglerfish fed mainly on small benthic fish. In contrast, large prey species such as Phycis blennoides and Merluccius merluccius were eaten almost exclusively by adults. The diet composition changed during the year. The changes in the diet of black anglerfish older than 3 years were more related to seasonal differences than to between-size differences. These seasonal shifts were mainly marked by the varying importance of Trachurus trachurus and M. merluccius in their diet. Feeding intensity also showed seasonal variations, with a significant decrease in autumn. An indirect effect of depth on the feeding ecology of black anglerfish was also found, since both age and diet composition changed with depth.

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