Marine Biology

, Volume 117, Issue 3, pp 459–468 | Cite as

Feeding habits of pasiphaeid shrimps close to the bottom on the Western Mediterranean slope

  • J. E. Cartes


The composition of the diet and daily cicle of predatory activity of pasiphaeid shrimps in the Northwestern Mediterranean were established; special attention was focussed on nocturnal feeding habits close to the bottom. Daily activity in both species was studied in two continuous 24-h sampling periods. Samples were obtained using bottom trawls between 1988 and 1990. Both species fed on benthic prey items at night. The nocturnal diet of Pasiphaea multidentata consisted of gammarid amphipods, isopods (Cirolana borealis) and macruran decapods (Calocaris macandreae). Nocturnal feeding activity was carried out only by large specimens (cephalothorax length >28 mm), which stayed close to the bottom during the nighttime. In contrast, the specimens collected during the daytime exhibited highly digested remains of pelagic prey (hyperiids, fishes, euphausiids, chaetognaths) ingested as a result of predatory higher activity in the water column the night before. The feeding strategy of P. sivado was parallel to that of P. multidentata. At night large specimens were located near the bottom and fed on suprabenthic gammarid amphipods. This nocturnal feeding activity by both these mesopelagic pasiphaeid species furnishes evidence of energy transfer from the benthos to the planktonic system in bathyal communities. Changes were observed in the diet of P. multidentata with depth. Crustaceans made up a larger share of the diet of P. multidentata on the lower slope than on the upper middle slope, probably because of changes undergone by bathyal communities with increasing depth. The feeding rate was higher in the submarine canyons, where the diet is also more specialised. Dietary overlap between the two pasiphaeids was very low, due to the different size range of prey exploited.


Prey Item Feeding Habit Large Specimen Bottom Trawl Predatory Activity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. E. Cartes
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut de Ciències del MarBarcelonaSpain

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