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Feeding habits of thresher sharks Alopias sp. in northern Peru: predators of Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 July 2018

Adriana González-Pestana*
James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia ProDelphinus, Jose Galvez 780, Lima 18, Peru
Nicolas Acuña-Perales
ProDelphinus, Jose Galvez 780, Lima 18, Peru Universidad Ricardo Palma, Av. Benavides 5440, Surco, Lima, Peru
Francisco Córdova
ProDelphinus, Jose Galvez 780, Lima 18, Peru Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, Av. La Molina, Lima, Perú
Javier Coasaca
ProDelphinus, Jose Galvez 780, Lima 18, Peru Facultad de Biología Marina, Universidad Científica del Sur, Panamericana Sur, Km 19, Lima, Peru
Eliana Alfaro
ProDelphinus, Jose Galvez 780, Lima 18, Peru Facultad de Biología Marina, Universidad Científica del Sur, Panamericana Sur, Km 19, Lima, Peru
Joanna Alfaro-Shigueto
ProDelphinus, Jose Galvez 780, Lima 18, Peru Facultad de Biología Marina, Universidad Científica del Sur, Panamericana Sur, Km 19, Lima, Peru Centre for Ecology and Conservation, School of Biosciences, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9EZ, UK
Jeffrey C. Mangel
ProDelphinus, Jose Galvez 780, Lima 18, Peru Centre for Ecology and Conservation, School of Biosciences, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9EZ, UK
Correspondence should be addressed to: A. González-Pestana, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD,Australia and ProDelphinus, Jose Galvez 780, Lima 18, Peru email:


The stomach contents of thresher sharks (Alopias spp.; 162–385 cm total length) were collected from five landing points in northern Peru during 2015. A total of 128 thresher sharks were sampled, with 38 individuals identified as Alopias pelagicus and 90 aggregated to the genus level Alopias sp. to prevent any misidentification. The diet comprised 13 and 10 prey taxa for Alopias sp. and A. pelagicus, respectively. Humboldt squid Dosidicus gigas dominated the diet of both groups, with only minor differences in the diet in relation to size classes and location. The diet of Alopias shows a high degree of specialization and the average trophic positions were high for both groups, A. pelagicus (4.4 ± 0.13) and Alopias sp. (4.5 ± 0.14).

Research Article
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2018 

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Feeding habits of thresher sharks Alopias sp. in northern Peru: predators of Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas)
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