Istituto di Scienze Marine     
La Mesa M., Eastman J., Licandro P. Feeding habits of Bathydraco marri (Pisces, notothenioidei, bathydraconidae) from the Ross Sea, Antarctica. In: Polar Biology, vol. 30 (5) pp. 541 - 547. SPRINGER, 2007.
In comparison with other bathydraconids, all species of the genus Bathydraco are poorly known from an ecological perspective. The diet of juvenile Bathydraco marri Norman, 1938 was studied for the first time in specimens collected in the southwestern Ross Sea during summer 1998. Fish were collected in a single otter trawl catch at 330-340 m depth. The stomach content analysis showed that this species fed exclusively on crustaceans. Overall, 20 prey taxa were identified to genus or species level. Mysids, amphipods and copepods were the most important prey in decreasing order of importance. Other prey, such as Euphausia superba, isopods and tanaids were eaten occasionally and in very small amounts. A multivariate analysis was applied to feeding data to assess ontogenetic or sex-related changes in diet. No difference was detected between sexes, whereas diet of small and large fish differed in some degree. An ontogenetic shift from small and pelagic crustaceans such as copepods to benthic-benthopelagic prey such as amphipods and mysids was observed. Relating present results with published data on physiological characteristics of B. marri, it was possible to infer their feeding behaviour and mode of life. Like other bathydraconids, this species appeared to be an inactive and sluggish fish, which relied on more or less motile benthic or epibenthic prey adopting a "sit and wait" feeding strategy. On the other hand, smaller fish seem to be more active, feeding also on pelagic prey such as copepods that can be seasonally abundant, thus reducing the intraspecific competition for food.
DOI: 10.1007/s00300-006-0211-9
Subject diet
Ross Sea

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