Pleuragramma antarcticum (Pisces, Nototheniidae) as food for other fishes in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica
Nine spcies of notothenioid fishes were captured near the southern limit of their range in ice covered McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Stomach contents were examined using an occurrence method. Fishes were present in the diets of 8 of 9 species;Dissostichus mawsoni andGymnodraco acuticeps were predominantly piscivorous.Pleuragramma antarcticum was the most common prey fish consumed, being present in stomachs of 4 of 8 species.Pleuragramma was also partially piscivorous (22%) as well as cannibalistic (13%). As evidenced by their presence in the stomach contents of other fishes, all life history stages from 20 mm SL postlarvae to 160 mm SL adultPleuragramma were represented under the ice of the Sound.Pleuragramma was also a major food item for Weddell seals, birds and possibly invertebrates. As a widely distributed species in the pelagic zone,Pleuragramma may be an ecological substitute for euphausiids in the food web of the Sound.
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