Marine Biology

, Volume 146, Issue 5, pp 951–962 | Cite as

Temporal changes in feeding habits and daily rations of Hoplostethus mediterraneus in the bathyal Ionian Sea (eastern Mediterranean)

  • T. MadurellEmail author
  • J. E. Cartes
Research Article


Data on the diet, feeding habits and daily rations of Hoplostethus mediterraneus Cuvier, 1829 in the bathyal eastern Ionian Sea (Mediterranean Sea) are presented. A total of 430 specimens collected by bottom trawls at depths ranging from 473 to 603 m during four 24-h day–night sampling cycles covering the four annual seasons was examined. H. mediterraneus diet consisted of pelagic and vagile epibenthic prey, mainly crustaceans, and was dominated by benthopelagic natantian decapods (83.35% IRI, index of relative importance). Seasonal changes in diet were apparent and related to seasonal fluctuations in suprabenthic and zooplanktonic prey in the environment. Diel patterns in stomach fullness and trends in diel feeding cycles are discussed in relation to the vertical migratory movements of available prey (i.e. suprabenthos and zooplankton). Daily-ration estimates were determined by evacuation-rate models and ranged from 0.143% to 0.397% WW/WW. Overall, daily-ration estimates were within the range of the daily consumption of other deep-sea fish. Deduced from diet contents, we found a constant gross energy intake (305–316 kcal g−1) during all seasons. As a possible response to the reproductive peak of mature females observed in summer, H. mediterraneus increases its food consumption, which, in turn, is coupled with an increase in food availability.


Prey Item Demersal Fish Stomach Fullness Diel Cycle Benthic Boundary Layer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The first author is especially grateful to all members of the Institute of Marine Biological Resources at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR, Athens, Greece) for their assistance in the course of this research project. This work was funded by the EU under the FAIR-GT-1376 contract [Marie Curie research training grant, Training and Mobility of Researchers (TMR) program].


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hellenic Centre for Marine ResearchAthensGreece
  2. 2.Institut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC)BarcelonaSpain

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