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Temporal and ontogenic variations of diet of the goldblotch grouper Epinephelus costae (Serranidae) in the eastern coast of Algeria

  • Raouf Zaidi (a1), Farid Derbal (a1) and M. Hichem Kara (a1)
Abstract

The diet of the goldblotch grouper Epinephelus costae of the eastern coast of Algeria was studied from March 2011 to February 2012. A total of 275 individuals, whose total length varied between 21.1 and 79.79 cm and weight between 103.13 and 5390.00 g, were examined. The index of relative importance (%IRI) combining the three main descriptors of the presence of different ingested prey (%F, %N, %W) was used to characterize the relative importance of different food taxa. Qualitative and quantitative variations in diet were studied according to sexual maturity (immature and mature), sex (male and female), size (small, medium and large) and seasons. The average annual digestive vacuity is 17.82%. It does not vary according to sex, size or maturity, but is different between summer and winter. Qualitative analysis of digestive contents reveals a fairly diverse range of predation with 319 prey counted for a total weight of 934.85 g, which corresponds to an average number (N m) and weight (W m) of 1.4 and 4.14 g respectively. This species feeds on benthopelagic prey composed mainly of bony fish (%IRI = 76.16), pancrustacea (%IRI = 16.14) and molluscs (%IRI = 6.24). All other prey were accessory (plants) or accidental (annelids). Significant differences in feeding habits occur according to seasons and fish size.

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Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: M. H. Kara, Marine Bioresources Laboratory, Annaba University – Algeria, BP 230 Oued Kouba, Annaba, Algeria email: kara_hichem@yahoo.com
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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
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