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Ontogenetic changes in the feeding habits and dietary overlap between three abundant rajid species on the Falkland Islands' shelf

  • P. Brickle (a1), V. Laptikhovsky (a1), J. Pompert (a1) and A. Bishop (a1)

The ontogenetic changes in the diet and dietary overlap of three commercially important rajid species inhabiting the slope and shelf waters of the Falkland Islands were investigated. The white dotted skate (Bathyraja albomaculata) was a specialized amphipod and polychaete feeder. The broad nose skate (B. brachyurops) had a diverse diet, consuming a wide variety of crustaceans and fish. The grey tail skate (B. griseocauda) also had a broad diet but consumed a high proportion of amphipods and isopods (e.g. Serolis spp.). Larger individuals of the latter species were more piscivorous and consumed more squid. The diets of all three species showed a marked variation with ontogeny. Dietary overlap was greatest for smaller animals (<30 cm disk width), after which each species became more specialized in their diets. Smaller animals also showed some differences in depth of distribution, which may be an adaptation to reduce inter-specific competition.

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Corresponding author, e-mail: pbrickle@¢
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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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