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Trophic spectrum of the sailfish Istiophorus platypterus caught off Acapulco in the southern Mexican Pacific

  • Sandra Berenice Hernández-Aguilar (a1), Leonardo Andrés Abitia-Cárdenas (a1), Xchel Gabriel Moreno-Sánchez (a1), Marcial Arellano-Martínez (a1) and Eduardo González-Rodríguez (a2)...

Abstract

The sailfish Istiophorus platypterus is one of the most common billfish species in the Mexican Pacific. Information about its feeding habits in the coastal region of Acapulco, Guerrero is extremely limited. In the present study we quantified the diet of sailfish, based on captures made from March 2008 to December 2009 by the sport fishing fleet of Acapulco. We analysed a total of 561 stomachs, of which 254 contained food (45%). The size interval of examined specimens was between 101 and 212 cm postorbital length and between 15 and 47 kg total weight. In general, teleosts were the most important prey, followed by cephalopods. According to index of relative importance, the most important species in the diet were the fish Auxis thazard (63.04%) and Fistularia commersonii (6.62%), followed by the cephalopod Octopus spp. (4.58%). There were no significant differences in the diet by sex (males and females), sexual maturity (immature and mature), or by season (warm and cold seasons). In all cases the most important prey species was A. thazard. We conclude that the sailfish I. platypterus off Acapulco behaves as a specialist predator because, despite the consumption of a high number of prey items, it feeds preferentially on a reduced number of prey species that form schools, and are available and abundant in the ocean.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: L.A. Abitia-Cárdenas, Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Avenida Instituto Politécnico Nacional s/n, Apartado Postal 592, La Paz, Baja California Sur, México, C.P. 23096 email: laabitia@gmail.com

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Keywords

Trophic spectrum of the sailfish Istiophorus platypterus caught off Acapulco in the southern Mexican Pacific

  • Sandra Berenice Hernández-Aguilar (a1), Leonardo Andrés Abitia-Cárdenas (a1), Xchel Gabriel Moreno-Sánchez (a1), Marcial Arellano-Martínez (a1) and Eduardo González-Rodríguez (a2)...

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