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Appendicularians (Chordata, Tunicata) in the diet of anchovy (Engraulis anchoita) in the Argentine Sea
F.L. Capitanio, M. Pájaro and G. Esnal

Stomach contents of 321 Engraulis anchoita adults were studied together with plankton samples taken simultaneously from two cruises, one carried out in Buenos Aires Province waters (34°-40°S) and the other in North Patagonian waters (41°-44°S). Stomach contents from the first cruise were dominated by Appendicularia and Copepoda and, to a lesser extent, bivalve postlarvae, anchovy eggs, Cladocera, Salpidae, Euphausiacea and Amphipoda. The stomach repletion stages used indicated that appendicularians were an important food for anchovy; appendicularians have never been previously mentioned in anchovy diet. North Patagonian anchovies contained mainly Copepoda and Cladocera along with Appendicularia, Euphausiacea, anchovy eggs and Amphipoda. For each survey, the abundance of appendicularians in both the plankton and stomach contents showed similar patterns. The only species of Appendicularia recorded was Oikopleura dioica. In plankton, 50% of the animals were mature. However, in the stomachs they were all mature. Probably the anchovy has filtered on breeding aggregations of mature houseless individual grouped near the surface for spawning explaining the great number of non-digested individuals in the stomachs.

Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 61(1) : 9-15 Back PDF
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