Marine Biology

, Volume 143, Issue 6, pp 1127–1133

Diet of Octopus vulgaris in False Bay, South Africa

Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00227-003-1144-2

Cite this article as:
Smith, C.D. Marine Biology (2003) 143: 1127. doi:10.1007/s00227-003-1144-2

Abstract

The diet of Octopus vulgaris was analysed using instantaneous daytime observations, midden counts, and stomach contents and a total of 39 prey species were identified. From stomach contents, the most important prey species were Plagusia chabrus (64.6% IRI, index of relative importance) and Haliotis midae (21.6% IRI). Crustaceans were the most frequently found prey group in octopus stomachs (63.6% frequency of occurrence), followed by molluscs (37.6%), teleosts (11.2%), and polychaetes (10.8%). Prey size and diversity increased with increasing octopus size. From middens, the mean shell lengths of H. midae consumed by small, medium, and large O. vulgaris were 53.3, 72.6, and 86.0 mm, respectively. Compared with stomach contents, midden counts were 3 times higher for shelled molluscs, but 5 times lower for crustaceans and soft-bodied organisms. Similarly, instantaneous daytime observations were 3 times higher for shelled molluscs, but 5 times lower for crustaceans and 2 times lower for soft-bodied organisms.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marine and Coastal ManagementRogge Bay, Cape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Marine Biology Research InstituteUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa

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