Ontogeny of diet changes in a tropical benthic carnivorous fish, Parupeneus barberinus (Mullidae): relationship between foraging behaviour, habitat use, jaw size, and prey selection

Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi, and McCormick, Mark I. (2001) Ontogeny of diet changes in a tropical benthic carnivorous fish, Parupeneus barberinus (Mullidae): relationship between foraging behaviour, habitat use, jaw size, and prey selection. Marine Biology, 138 (6). pp. 1099-1113.

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Abstract

Parupeneus barberinus forages on benthic invertebrates using a wide range of foraging modes, including vigorous digging in the substratum, resulting in considerable disturbance to the benthos. Polychaetes were the most important prey item for all size classes, but fishes less than 120 mm total length consumed more small ostracods and nematodes than did larger fishes. Fishes greater than 120 mm total length consumed mostly bivalves, and fishes over 240 mm total length consumed mostly bivalves and crabs. A morphological examination of the feeding apparatus suggested that the size of important prey items consumed was determined by gape height and jaw width. Prey available to different size classes of fishes was determined by combining information on microhabitat use, foraging behaviours, and prey volumes in the substratum. Small fishes spent more time foraging on the reef flat and slope, compared with larger fishes that foraged mostly on the reef edge and base. In addition smaller fishes foraged mostly in the upper 2 cm of sediment, whereas larger fishes often foraged to depths of 10 cm. Selection ratios showed that different size classes of fishes selectively extracted different prey items from the substratum. Small fishes showed a preference for ostracods whereas large fishes selected for bivalves and crabs. Although polychaetes were the dominant prey item for all size classes, they were consistently selected against.

Item ID: 15642
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1793
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2011 06:22
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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