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Feeding habits of the short-finned squid Illex coindetii in the western Mediterranean Sea using combined stomach content and isotopic analysis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 December 2015

Francisco Martínez-Baena*
Affiliation:
Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Joan Navarro
Affiliation:
Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain Department of Conservation Biology, Estación Biológica de Doñana (EBD-CSIC), Avenida Américo Vespucio s/n, Sevilla 41092, Spain
Marta Albo-Puigserver
Affiliation:
Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Isabel Palomera
Affiliation:
Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Rigoberto Rosas-Luis
Affiliation:
Departamento Central de Investigación, Universidad Laica ‘Eloy Alfaro’ de Manabí, Manta, Manabí, Ecuador
*Corresponding
Correspondence should be addressed to: F. Martínez-Baena, Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain email: francisco.martinezbaena@gmail.com

Abstract

The ommastrephid squid, Illex coindetii, is one of the most abundant cephalopods in the Mediterranean Sea and an important predator in the ecosystem. In the present study, we examined the diet habits of I. coindetii in the north-western Mediterranean Sea by combining two complementary approaches: stomach content and stable isotopic analyses. Specifically, we examined whether the diet differed between sizes and seasons. Stomach content results indicated that the diet of I. coindetii was composed of 35 prey items including four major groups; namely the crustaceans Pasiphaea sivado, Amphipods, squid of the Order Teuthida, and pelagic and mesopelagic fish. Differences were found among different ontogenetic sizes: juvenile individuals fed mainly on crustaceans (%IRI = 77.59), whereas adult individuals fed on a wider range of prey items, including the shrimp P. sivado (%IRI = 33.21), the amphipod Anchylomera blossevillei (%IRI = 0.91), the decapod Plesionika sp. (%IRI = 0.19), the carangid Trachurus trachurus (%IRI = 0.34) and some Myctophids species (%IRI = 0.21). Differences were also found between seasons in the year. In winter, crustaceans were the main prey items, whereas in summer the diversity of prey was higher, including fish, crustaceans and molluscs. Similar to the stomach contents, stable isotopic results indicated differences among sizes. δ15N values were higher in adult squids than in juveniles because they fed on prey at higher trophic levels. In conclusion, this study indicates that feeding habits of I. coindetii vary seasonally and ontogenetically. These feeding variations may be associated with trophic competence scenarios based on size, and also with the availability and abundance of prey throughout the year.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2015 

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