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Feeding biology of a guild of benthivorous fishes in a sandy shore on south-eastern Brazilian coast

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Author(s): ZAHORCSAK P. | SILVANO R. A. M. | SAZIMA I.

Journal: Revista Brasileira de Biologia
ISSN 0034-7108

Volume: 60;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 511;
Date: 2000;
Original page

Keywords: marine fishes | ontogenetic diet shift | Umbrina coroides | Eucinostomus gula

ABSTRACT
The feeding biology of eight species of benthivorous fishes was studied in a sandy shore at Anchieta Island, south-eastern Brazilian coast. The fishes fed mainly on Amphipoda and Mysidacea crustaceans. The diet of the most abundant species, the drum Umbrina coroides, was analyzed in three standard length classes (20-55, 56-90 and 91-135 mm). This sciaenid showed an ontogenetic diet shift from Mysidacea to Amphipoda. The feeding behaviour of the sciaenid U. coroides and the gerreid Eucinostomus gula was recorded while snorkeling. During their foraging both species uncovered small organisms buried in the sand. Notwithstanding general similarities in diet, U. coroides and E. gula presented differences in feeding behaviour and morphology. Two carangid species of the genus Trachinotus differed in diet composition and consumed a larger array of food items than the remaining fish species. Differences in diet and feeding activity between the remaining benthivorous species were noted. These differences possibly reduce overlap in resource use and favour the coexistence of guilds of benthivorous fishes on sandy shores.
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