Original Paper

Polar Biology

, Volume 26, Issue 7, pp 474-485

First online:

Size-related dietary changes observed in the squid Moroteuthis ingens at the Falkland Islands: stomach contents and fatty-acid analyses

  • Katrina L. PhillipsAffiliated withInstitute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of Tasmania Email author 
  • , Peter D. NicholsAffiliated withCSIRO Marine ResearchAntarctic CRC, University of Tasmania
  • , George D. JacksonAffiliated withInstitute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of Tasmania

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Dietary composition of the onychoteuthid squid Moroteuthis ingens at the Falkland Islands was related to predator size, as shown by stomach contents and fatty-acid analyses. Comparisons were made between two size classes of squid: those of mantle length <200 mm and those of mantle length >200 mm. Smaller squid had frequently consumed crustaceans and cephalopods; fish were of secondary importance. Larger squid consumed mostly fish and moderate amounts of cephalopods, but had rarely consumed crustaceans. These findings were supported by comparisons drawn between digestive-gland fatty-acid profiles and the fatty-acid profiles of potential prey species. Fatty-acid analyses indicated that the crustaceans Euphausia lucens, Munida gregaria and Themisto gaudichaudii were important prey items of smaller squid, whereas stomach content and fatty-acid analyses indicated that Gymnoscopelus nicholsi of around 100 mm standard length represented much of the fish prey of larger squid.