Papers/Abstracts

Feeding habits fo the lizardfish Synodus saurus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Actinopterygii: Synodontidae)

Marta S. C. Soares, Luis Sousa and João Pedro Barreiros

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 29-38, Volume 7, Issue 1 – May 2003

Abstract

The feeding habits of the lizardfish Synodus saurus, were studie in the Azores archipelago, north-eastern Atlantic. Factors examined were diet composition, prey importance, season, fish size, feeding straegy and prey orientation in the oesophagus. The stomach contents of 308 specimens were collected and analyzed between March and November 2000. Synodus saurus is common in Azorean water. Though it prefers small grearious pelagic fish, it also feeds on epibenthic and benthic prey. We found the following prey in its diet: 9 families of teleostean fishes (Carangidae, clupeidae, Cynoglossidae, Gobiidae, Labridae, Myctophidae, Spaidae, Spyraenidae and Synodontidae), two families of crustaceans (Cymothoidae and Scyllaridae) and one of cephalopods (Loliginidae). The European pilchard, Sardina pilchardus was the commonest prey. The diet of the lizardfish varies with the season, showing the greatest diversity (given by the Shannon-Wiener index) im October. There is a significant correlation with the sea temperature. The size of the predator is not correlated to the size of its prey. However, we observed a ositive correlation between the size o the positive correlation between the size of the predator and the quantity of food in its stomach. The orientation of the prey in the oesophagus may partly depend on the predador’s size. However, analysis of the stomach contents provided no information on the selection of prey.

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