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Size selectivity in the diet of Loligo forbesi (Cephalopoda: Loliginidae)

  • M. A. Collins (a1) and G. J. Pierce (a1)

Extract

The size of fish and squid prey of Loligo forbesi was investigated using otoliths, beaks and statoliths collected from stomach contents analysis of samples obtained from Scottish and Irish waters between 1990 and 1993. Loligo forbesi was found to consume a large range of prey sizes, but prey size was always less than the predator size. Season was shown to significantly influence the predator size-prey size relationship for sprat and sandeel prey, but this itself could be influenced by seasonal changes in the size of prey. Fish prey size increased with increased predator size up to a mantle length (ML) of 200 mm. Loligo forbesi of mantle length >200 mm consumed a range of prey sizes, with no clear increase in the size of prey. For most prey taxa the relationship between prey size and squid size was similar, the exceptions being dragonets and silvery pout. Cannibalism by L. forbesi was mostly limited to larger L. forbesi (>150 mm ML) feeding on smaller (20–50 mm ML) conspecifics.

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