European pilchard Sardina pilchardus late larvae were collected in the Gulf of Manfredonia, an important nursery area, during their seasonal inshore occurrence. Thanks to diel cycle sampling and to the wide range of larval lengths (from a minimum of 27 mm to a maximum of 45 mm), both feeding rhythm and ontogenetic changes were analysed. The feeding peak was observed in the afternoon, before sunset. Sardine larvae were exclusively zooplanktivorous, their diet being based on Calanoid Copepods from the genus Paracalanus (IRI%=65.7), on the species Temora longicornis (IRI%=15.5) and other small-sized Copepods. Other planktonic organisms appeared in the stomach contents occasionally and never reached IRI% values >1. The number of prey per stomach increased suddenly at larval lengths around 40 mm, corresponding to the development of the stomach. Prey composition in the environment was established by contemporaneous sampling of plankton, performed by means of two plankton nets with different meshes. The main prey items were positively selected among those available in the field, but some other prey (Centropages spp., Harpacticoids, Corycaeids, Temora stylifera and Acartia spp.) were also preferred, although rare in the plankton samples. In contrast, copepod nauplii, despite their abundance in the environment (15,848±4441 individuals m−3), were only occasionally recovered in the larval gut contents (N=0.26%). This shows that sardine late larvae have switched to larger prey items.

Feeding habits of European pilchard late larvae in a nursery area in the Adriatic Sea

Borme D;Tirelli V;
2013

Abstract

European pilchard Sardina pilchardus late larvae were collected in the Gulf of Manfredonia, an important nursery area, during their seasonal inshore occurrence. Thanks to diel cycle sampling and to the wide range of larval lengths (from a minimum of 27 mm to a maximum of 45 mm), both feeding rhythm and ontogenetic changes were analysed. The feeding peak was observed in the afternoon, before sunset. Sardine larvae were exclusively zooplanktivorous, their diet being based on Calanoid Copepods from the genus Paracalanus (IRI%=65.7), on the species Temora longicornis (IRI%=15.5) and other small-sized Copepods. Other planktonic organisms appeared in the stomach contents occasionally and never reached IRI% values >1. The number of prey per stomach increased suddenly at larval lengths around 40 mm, corresponding to the development of the stomach. Prey composition in the environment was established by contemporaneous sampling of plankton, performed by means of two plankton nets with different meshes. The main prey items were positively selected among those available in the field, but some other prey (Centropages spp., Harpacticoids, Corycaeids, Temora stylifera and Acartia spp.) were also preferred, although rare in the plankton samples. In contrast, copepod nauplii, despite their abundance in the environment (15,848±4441 individuals m−3), were only occasionally recovered in the larval gut contents (N=0.26%). This shows that sardine late larvae have switched to larger prey items.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/1148
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