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Neotropical Ichthyology

Print version ISSN 1679-6225


BITTAR, Vanessa Trindade et al. Feeding preference of adult females of ribbonfish Trichiurus lepturus through prey proximate-composition and caloric values. Neotrop. ichthyol. [online]. 2012, vol.10, n.1, pp.197-203. ISSN 1679-6225.

In the present study we analysed the proximate-composition and caloric values of the preferred prey consumed by ribbonfish, Trichiurus lepturus L. 1758 (adult females), that are distributed in the inner continental shelf from northern Rio de Janeiro State, southeastern Brazil (~22ºS), assessing the potential of nutritional and energetic approach as a tool to understand the feeding selective pattern of this marine top carnivore. The preferred prey of this predator composed of fish co-specifics, Pellona harroweri, Chirocentrodon bleekerianus, Lycengraulis grossidens, Peprilus paru, squid Doryteuthis plei, and shrimp Xiphopenaeus kroyeri were collected from 2007 to 2010 for proximate-composition (water, protein, lipid, ash, and carbohydrate) and caloric value analyses. The correspondence analysis showed that protein is the main component in the prey species (61.32% of variance explained), standing out from the other nutrients. Lipid has the highest percentage related to L. grossidens, ash to X. kroyeri and carbohydrate to D. plei. The strong correlations between protein and caloric value (positive) and lipid and caloric value (negative) indicated that T. lepturus is attending its energy demand through the prey protein content. This work elucidated the feeding preference of adult females of T. lepturus in relation to nutritional and caloric content of their preferred prey. The species showed food selectivity to prey that provide more energy per ingested biomass, so that the feeding events can maximize the predator's caloric gain, which is obtained by a protein-based diet.

Keywords : Feeding; Marine fish; Prey composition; Seafood; Trichiuridae.

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