- 1) Marine Science Institute, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Sternoptyx diaphana Hermann is a non-migrating hatchetfish inhabiting the mesopelagic zone between 300 and 1500 m in temperate to tropical oceanic regions. An analysis is presented of the diet of this species, collected from 5 oceanic faunal provinces—the Pacific Subantarctic, and 4 subregions of the North Atlantic Ocean. Stomach analyses of 20 to 40 mm specimens revealed considerable intra-trawl (fish to fish), intraregional (Station to station), and inter-regional variation in size and composition of the diet. Generic composition of stomach contents differed noticeably from region to region, with the highest degree of faunal affinity being only 38%. The dominant food items both in terms of biomass and abundance also varied inter-regionally, with fish, euphausiids, or decapods predominant by weight; and euphaussids, copepods, or amphipods most prevalent by number. Differences in size distribution of food items from region to region were also noted. S. diaphana from regions of cooler overlying water masses fed on fewer but larger prey items, and diet was less diverse than that of fish from warmer waters. The diet consists primarily of omnivorous and carnivorous prey, and there is evidence that larger specimens feed on larger food items. The broad size-distribution and taxonomic spectrum of the prey, features of functional morphology, and low density as inferred from trawl catches, indicate that S. diaphana is a predator of limited pursuit capability. Feeding strategy appears to involve capture of the nearest “available” prey within its immediate vicinity.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - Ecology
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Aquatic Science
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics