Análisis del tamaño de las presas en la dieta de las larvas de cuatro clupeiformes en un área costera de Chile central
A. Llanos, G. Herrera, P. Bernal

PREY SIZE ANALYSIS IN THE DIET OF LARVAE OF FOUR CLUPEIFORM IN A COASTAL AREA OF CENTRAL CHILLI.- The food composition in diets of a group of clupeiform larvae constituted by Sardinops sagax, Strangomera bentincki, Ethmidium maculatum, and Engraulis ringens, in a size range from 4.0 mm to 20.0 mm, is analyzed in terms of type and size spectrum. Larvae were collected in Concepcion Bay between September and November of 1987. In the four species, larvae start to feed at distinct body lengths, involving different mouth widths. This allow them to ingest prey of different sizes, so there would be a partially differential utilization of food. E. ringens and E. maculatum are the species that capture larger and smaller particles, respectively, with the other two species at intermediary positions. From gut content analysis it is shown that the diet of younger larvae is composed mainly of small prey, such as nauplii, copepod eggs, dinoflagellates and mollusk larvae. In older larvae, besides the same kind of prey, larger prey like copedodites are found too. E. maculatum does not follow this pattern since, although it ingests larger particles at first feeding, it does not show a clear increase of prey size with larval size. Despite the initial differences in larval size and mouth, the quantitative increment of mouth width with size is similar in the four species. Moreover, the size ranges of particles in the diet in all the species overlap widely, indicating a similar utilization of food resources.

Keywords: Larvae, clupeiforms, feeding, size, Chile.
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 60(4) : 435-442 Back PDF
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