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Revista de Biología Tropical

On-line version ISSN 0034-7744Print version ISSN 0034-7744


GIARRIZZO, Tommaso  and  SAINT-PAUL, Ulrich. Ontogenetic and seasonal shifts in the diet of the pemecou sea catfish Sciades herzbergii (Siluriformes: Ariidae), from a macrotidal mangrove creek in the Curuçá estuary, Northern Brazil. Rev. biol. trop [online]. 2008, vol.56, n.2, pp.861-873. ISSN 0034-7744.

The feeding ecology of pemecou sea catfish (Sciades herzbergii) was studied bimonthly from September 2003 to July 2004 in a macrotidal mangrove creek at Curuçá estuary, Brazil. Feeding activity and relative importance of prey groups were assessed in 528 and 226 specimens (6.2 to 36.0 cm total length), respectively, using stomach contents. A total of 1 820 specimens were caught. The fish left the creek with an average of 2.2 % of their body weight in prey. Feeding activity was lower in the dry season (September and November 2003) than in the rainy season (January to May 2004). The diet was dominated by Ocypodidae and Grapsidae. Feeding strategies of the pemecou sea catfish indicated a slight variation between the diets of adults and juveniles; however; the main factor leading to diversification in the diet were the seasons. Opportunistic feeding behavior was observed in the dry season, shifting to more specialized feeding in the wet season. This temporal diet shift may be explained by the environmental seasonal variations (e.g. transparency of the water, high water level) in the intertidal mangrove creek habitat. Rev. Biol. Trop. 56 (2): 861-873. Epub 2008 June 30.

Keywords : Sciades herzbergii; feeding strategy; Ariidae; mangrove; stomach contents; Ocypodidae; Grapsidae.

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