Marine Biology

, Volume 150, Issue 4, pp 627–637 | Cite as

Feeding ecology of the grooved tiger shrimp Penaeus semisulcatus De Haan (Decapoda: Penaeidae) in inshore waters of Qatar, Arabian Gulf

  • I. Al-Maslamani
  • L. Le Vay
  • H. Kennedy
  • D. A. Jones
Research Article


The feeding ecology of the green tiger shrimp Penaeus semisulcatus was studied in inshore fishing grounds off Doha, Qatar, using a combination of stable isotope (δ13C and δ15N) analysis and gut contents examination. Samples of post-larvae, juvenile and adult shrimp and other organisms were collected from intertidal and subtidal zones during the spawning season (January–June). Shrimp collected from shallow water seagrass beds were mostly post-larvae and juveniles and were significantly smaller than the older juveniles and adults caught in deeper macroalgal beds. Gut content examination indicated that post-larvae and juvenile shrimp in seagrass beds fed mainly on benthos such as Foraminifera, polychaetes, benthic diatoms and small benthic crustaceans (amphipods, isopods and ostracoda), whereas larger shrimp in the macroalgal beds fed mainly on bivalve molluscs and to a lesser extent polychaetes. In shrimp from both seagrass and algal beds, unidentifiable detritus was also present in the gut (18, 32%). δ13C values for shrimp muscle tissue ranged from −9.5 ± 0.26 to −12.7 ± 0.05‰, and δ15N values increased with increasing shrimp size, ranging from 4.1 ± 0.03 to 7.7 ± 0.11‰. Both δ15N values and δ13C values for shrimp tissue were consistent with the dietary sources indicated by gut contents and the δ13C and δ15N values for primary producers and prey species. The combination of gut content and stable isotope data demonstrates that seagrass beds are important habitats for post-larvae and juvenile P. semisulcatus, while the transition to deeper water habitats in older shrimp involves a change in diet and source of carbon and nitrogen that is reflected in shrimp tissue stable isotope ratios. The results of the study confirm the linkage between sensitive shallow water habitats and the key life stages of an important commercially-exploited species and indicate the need for suitable assessment of the potential indirect impacts of coastal developments involving dredging and land reclamation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Al-Maslamani
    • 1
  • L. Le Vay
    • 1
  • H. Kennedy
    • 1
  • D. A. Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Ocean SciencesUniversity of WalesBangor, Menai Bridge, AngleseyUK

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