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Diet of the European flying squid Todarodes sagittatus (Cephalopoda: ommastrephidae) in the Balearic Sea (western Mediterranean)

  • A. Quetglas (a1), F. Alemany (a1), A. Carbonell (a1), P. Merella (a2) and P. Sánchez (a3)...
    • Published online: 04 April 2001
Abstract

Stomach contents of Todarodes sagittatus caught by trawlers working from 100 to 800 m depth in the Balearic Sea (western Mediterranean) were studied. From the 348 stomachs examined (153 males and 195 females) 33.62% were empty (39.21% in males and 29.74% in females). The diet of the squid was composed of 58 different prey items belonging to four major groups: Osteichthya, Crustacea, Cephalopoda and Chondrichthya. Osteichthyes, crustaceans and cephalopods were the most common prey, with a frequency of occurrence value of 84.85, 48.92 and 29.87% respectively. A change in the diet as the squid grows was observed, since juveniles feed basically on fishes while adults prey more actively on crustaceans. Analysis of the diet by size-classes reflected an ontogenetic migration to deeper waters since, parallel to the increase of size, a raise in the percentage of prey species inhabiting deeper waters was detected. Cannibalism was quite frequent, since T. sagittatus was the second most common cephalopod prey. Females had higher fullness-weight index and lower emptiness index than males, which reflects their major energetic demand for egg production.

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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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