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Feeding behavior of adult Vinciguerria nimbaria (Phosichthyidae), in the tropical Atlantic (0°–4°N, 15°W)
Champalbert, G.A.; Kouame, B.; Pagano, M.; Marchal, E. (2008). Feeding behavior of adult Vinciguerria nimbaria (Phosichthyidae), in the tropical Atlantic (0°–4°N, 15°W). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 156(1): 79-95.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
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  • Champalbert, G.A.
  • Kouame, B.
  • Pagano, M.
  • Marchal, E.

    Adult Vinciguerria nimbaria are the main prey of tuna during the tuna fishing season (late autumn and winter) in the equatorial Atlantic (0–4°N, and ~15°W). V. nimbaria trophic behavior in the fishing grounds was studied in relation to hydrobiological factors to determine its role in the trophic food web. Sampling stations spaced by 20 nautical miles were set up along a 15°W north–south transect from 4°N to 0°40S. At each station, the temperature and vertical fluorescence profiles were recorded. Nitrate and chlorophyll a analyses were performed on water sampled at different levels in the euphotic zone. Vertical plankton hauls were carried out at depths of 0–100 and 0–200 m using a standard WP2 net fitted with a 200-µm mesh gauze. Vinciguerria nimbaria adults were collected using a young-fish mid-water trawl net (10 × 15 m opening mouth, 10 mm cod end mesh). The weight of the stomach contents, the stomach fullness index, the number of prey, the frequency of occurrence and the prey preponderance were recorded for 20 fish from each haul. An oligotrophic typical tropical structure (TTS) was found between 1° and 4°N where small zooplankton was relatively abundant above or near the thermocline. In the TTS, V. nimbaria behaved as an epipelagic fish, feeding on the dominant small prey during the daytime. In turn, it was a prey for tuna. In the equatorial zone, where zooplankton was more abundant than in the north equatorial zone, V. nimbaria behaved as a mesopelagic fish and as an opportunistic mesozooplankton feeder. It consumed a wide range of sizes of food, feeding on the most abundant species of zooplankton as well as the largest zooplankton species, possibly while migrating towards the surface in the late afternoon or in the deep layer.

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