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Brazilian Journal of Oceanography

On-line version ISSN 1982-436X


LOPES, Xênia Moreira et al. Braz. j. oceanogr. [online]. 2012, vol.60, n.2, pp.189-198. ISSN 1982-436X.

This study presents new information on the feeding habits of the Atlantic spotted dolphins, Stenella frontalis, in the Western South Atlantic. Nine stomach contents of S. frontalis incidentally caught in fishing operations conducted by the gillnet fleet based on main harbour of Cananéia (25°00'S; 47°55'W), southeastern Brazil, were analyzed. These specimens were captured between 2005 and 2007. A total of 1 422 cephalopod beaks, 147 otoliths and three crustaceans were recovered from the stomach contents. The dolphins assessed preyed on at least eight different fish species of the families Trichiuridae, Carangidae, Sparidae, Merluccidae, Engraulidae, Sciaenidae, Congridae and Scombridae, five cephalopod species of the families Loliginidae, Sepiolidae, Tremoctopodidae and Thysanoteuthidae, and one shrimp species of the Penaeidae family. Based on the analysis of the Index of Relative Importance (IRI), the Atlantic cutlassfish, Trichiurus lepturus, was the most important fish species represented.  Of the cephalopods, the squid Doryteuthis plei was by far the most representative species. Several items were reported for the first time as prey of the S. frontalis: Xiphopenaeus kroyeri, Tremoctopus violaceus, Semirossia tenera, Merluccius hubbsi, Pagrus pagrus and Paralonchurus brasiliensis. S. frontalis presented teuthophagous and ichthyofagous feeding habits, with apparent predominance of the first, and preyed mainly on pelagic and demersal items.

Keywords : Cetacea; Stenella frontalis; Atlantic spotted dolphin; feeding habits.

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