Revista Brasileira de Biologia
Print version ISSN 0034-7108
MUTO, E. Y.; SOARES, L. S. H. and GOITEIN, R.. Food resource utilization of the skates Rioraja agassizii (Müller & Henle, 1841) and Psammobatis extenta (Garman, 1913) on the continental shelf off Ubatuba, South-eastern Brazil. Rev. Bras. Biol. [online]. 2001, vol.61, n.2, pp. 217-238. ISSN 0034-7108. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-71082001000200005.
The feeding habits of Rioraja agassizii (syn. Raja agassizii) and Psammobatis extenta (syn. Psammobatis glansdissimilis) of the South-eastern Brazilian coast were studied by means of stomach content analysis. The samples were obtained on eight seasonal oceanographic cruises, carried out between October 1985 and July 1987. The importance of each food item was evaluated on the basis of the Index of Relative Importance and the feeding similarity by Percentage of Similarity. The results indicated that both species are benthic feeders, preying mainly on Crustacea, especially Amphipoda, Caridea and Brachyura. Teleostei were also important for R. agassizii. Seasonal variation of the diet seems to be associated with the availability of the prey, whose distribution and abundance are related to the dynamics of the water masses of the region. Juveniles and adults of P. extenta exploited the same resources while juveniles and adults of R. agassizii presented low diet similarity during most of the year. Caridea were an important food for all length classes of R. agassizii, while Amphipoda were for smaller specimens, and Teleostei for larger ones. The feeding overlap between the two species was higher during autumn 1986, winter 1986 and winter 1987.
Keywords : Rajidae; stomach content; feeding habits; South Atlantic; Brazil.