Marine Biology

, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 147–156 | Cite as

Feeding ecology of three species of midwater fishes associated with the continental slope of eastern Tasmania, Australia

  • J. W. Young
  • S. J. M. Blaber


The feeding ecology of Maurolicus muelleri, Lampanyctodes hectoris and Diaphus danae was examined from samples collected from continental slope waters of eastern Tasmania between April 1984 and April 1985. A total of 2 232 stomachs was analysed. M. muelleri, L. hectoris and D. danae fed primarily on euphausiids and secondarily on copepods, although larger D. danae (> 60 mm standard length) fed on other lanternfish (chiefly L. hectoris). The diets of M. muelleri and L. hectoris overlapped substantially. Diet overlaps between D. danae and the former species was low, however, due to the large biomass of fish present in D. danae. The prey taxa consumed changed with time of year and predator size. Stomach fullness (feeding intensity) varied seasonally in all three species, but only M. muelleri showed significant diel differences in fullness. The synchronization of the size structure of the predator populations and their feeding intensity, with seasonal variations in preferred prey, is proposed as a mechanism whereby each species maximizes its share of the available food resources.


Biomass Seasonal Variation Food Resource Standard Length Continental Slope 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. W. Young
    • 1
  • S. J. M. Blaber
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Fisheries ResearchCSIRO Marine LaboratoriesHobartAustralia

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