Papers/Abstracts

Diets, feeding habits, and trophic relations of six deep-benthic skates (Rajidae) in the western Bering Sea

Alexei M. Orlov

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 45-60, Volume 7, Issue 2 – June 2003

Abstract
The diets of six species of skates inhabiting the western Bering Sea were examined: Aleutian skate, Bathyraja aleutica, Alaska skate B. parmifera, Matsubara skate B. matsubarai, white-blotched skate B. maculata, white-brow skate B. minispinosa, and Bering skate Rhinoraja iterrupta. The diets of predatory skates (Alaska, Aleutia, white-blotched, Matsubaa, and white-brow skates) consisted of large crustaceans, cephalopods and fishes. Benthophagic Bering skates consumed mainly Tanner crabs, gammarid amphipods, and shrimps. The consumption of worms and crustaceans by predatory skates declined with increasing skate size, whereas consumption of fishes increased. The consumption of worms and small crustaceans by benthophagic Bering skates declined with increasing skate size while consumption of crabs and squid increased. Diets of male and female skates differed, probably due mostly to the effect of size. Among the species examined, three skate pairs had a medium level of dietary similarity: Aleutian and Alaska skates, Alaska and white-brow skates, and white-brow and Bering skates.

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