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Diet of Tetrapturus belone (Istiophoridae) in the central Mediterranean Sea

  • Luca Castriota (a1), Maria Grazia Finoia (a2), Silvana Campagnuolo (a1), Teresa Romeo (a3), Antonio Potoschi (a4) and Franco Andaloro (a1)...

The stomach contents of 69 Mediterranean spearfish Tetrapturus belone collected in the Strait of Messina, central Mediterranean Sea were examined. Of the total specimens, caught by harpoon, only three stomachs were empty. Their diet consisted mainly of pelagic fish and cephalopods. The most important piscine prey belonged to the families of Belonidae, Clupeidae and Scomberesocidae. Cephalopods were mainly represented by Tremoctopus violaceus in terms of per cent weight and by Illex coindetii in terms of per cent frequency of occurrence. Tetrapturus belone is an active predator on epipelagic fast-moving prey and school-forming species. Its ecological role is similar to that of other large pelagic species which share the same environment.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: Luca Castriota Central Institute for Marine Research (ICRAM) STS Palermo via Emerico Amari 124 90139 Palermo Italy
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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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