Aquat. Living Resour.
Volume 34, 2021
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Published online||29 October 2021|
Observations on feeding habits of the common dolphinfish, Coryphaena hippurus (Linnaeus 1758) from the western Bay of Bengal
Visakhapatnam Regional Centre of ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Visakhapatnam 530003, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Mangalore Regional Centre of ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Mangalore 575001, Karnataka, India
3 ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi 682018, Kerala, India
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Handling Editor: Flavia Lucena Fredou
Accepted: 7 September 2021
Coryphaena hippurus is a large pelagic species and constitutes an important by-catch in drift gillnet, trolling and long-line fishing gears operated along the Bay of Bengal, northeastern Indian Ocean. The present study, first from the region, is aimed at deciphering the feeding dynamics from 1150 individuals collected from 2017 to 2019. 32.17% of the fishes had empty stomachs or was with food traces, 45.57% had partially-full stomachs and 22.26% had full stomachs. The feeding intensity was inferred through stomach filling and predator-prey weight ratio, which was higher in May and lower in January, and increasing as increase in the fish size. Coryphaena hippurus is considered a piscivorous pelagic predator as pelagic teleosts contribute more than half of the prey species. Major prey species were big-eye scad (27.3%), squid (10.3%), crabs (9.3%), Indian mackerel (7.2%), Indian scad (5.9%), whitebaits (5.7%) and sardines (5.4%). Scads and crabs were abundantly preyed during summer and winter, while clupeids and engraulids in monsoon; however, no significant variations were observed in prey composition between sizes. Trophic Level was 4.22 ± 0.15 and Levins Standardized Niche Breadth Index was 0.30. Dietary niche breadth was higher during summer (0.48) and monsoon (0.33) and in fishes measuring 60.0–74.9 cm (0.51) and below 45.0 cm (0.48) indicating generalised feeding. This primary study from Bay of Bengal is the first comprehensive report on trophodynamics for the species and would contribute to its management using trophic interactions.
Key words: Bay of Bengal / Coryphaena hippurus / feeding intensity / prey composition / feeding strategy
© EDP Sciences 2021
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