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Feeding habits of oplophorid shrimps in the deep western Mediterranean

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2009

J. E. Cartes
Institut de Cisències del Mar, Passeig Nacional s/n, 08039 Barcelona, Spain


Diets of the two deep-sea species of Mediterranean oplophorids were studied by the analysis of 244 foregut contents of Acanthephyra eximia and 69 of Acanthephyra pelagica. All the specimens were collected on the deep slope (between 610 and 2261 m) using an OTSB-14 bottom trawl.

The diet of A. pelagica consisted of small mesopelagic fishes (Cyclothone braueri, Myctophidae) and bathypelagic crustaceans (Gennadas elegans, Pasiphaea multidentata, Eucopia hanseni, Meganyctiphanes norvegica, hyperiids). In contrast, A. eximia was an important scavenger, feeding on fish remains. Benthic species (polychaetes, Calocaris macandreae, gastropods, etc.) were also detected in its diet. There was little dietary overlap between the two species. In A. eximia bathypelagic decapods were important only in the diet of large specimens. In small specimens the acquisition of decapod prey was not attributable to active hunting. On the lower slope A. eximia was more detritivorous, and predatory activity was lower. This trend was most distinct in small and medium-sized individuals, which predominate at that level.

Research Article
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 1993

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