Marine Biology

, Volume 158, Issue 11, pp 2555–2564 | Cite as

Stable isotope analysis of two species of anguilliform leptocephali (Anguilla japonica and Ariosoma major) relative to their feeding depth in the North Equatorial Current region

  • Sachie MiyazakiEmail author
  • Hee-Yong Kim
  • Kei Zenimoto
  • Takashi Kitagawa
  • Michael J. Miller
  • Shingo Kimura
Original Paper


Anguilla japonica leptocephali are transported from their offshore spawning area to their recruitment areas in East Asia, but their depth distributions, food sources and feeding are still poorly known. This study analyzed carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios of leptocephali of A. japonica, Ariosoma major and Ariosoma spp., and of particulate organic matter (POM), their likely food source, at five different depths in 2004–2009. We used mixing models to show that A. japonica appeared to be feeding at depths between 5 and 50 m, but sometimes deeper. A. major appeared to have a tendency of mostly feeding at depths of 50 m or shallower. Although the A. japonica and Ariosoma spp. collected in the same area during the leptocephalus stage appeared to have different feeding ecologies possibly related to different types of POM, their different depth distributions, sizes and transport histories may also help explain these differences.


Particulate Organic Matter Stable Isotope Ratio Subtropical Gyre North Equatorial Current Gelatinous Zooplankton 
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.



We thank the captain, crew and technicians of the R/V Hakuho Maru for their help during these six cruises. We also thank all the other scientific members of these cruises for their assistance in the collection and sorting of the plankton to obtain the leptocephali. In particular, the authors are grateful to K. Tsukamoto, T. Otake, N. Mochioka, J. Aoyama and M. Kuroki for their advice.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sachie Miyazaki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hee-Yong Kim
    • 3
  • Kei Zenimoto
    • 1
  • Takashi Kitagawa
    • 1
  • Michael J. Miller
    • 2
  • Shingo Kimura
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, Atmosphere and Ocean Research InstituteThe University of TokyoKashiwa, ChibaJapan
  2. 2.Atmosphere and Ocean Research InstituteThe University of TokyoKashiwa, ChibaJapan
  3. 3.National Fisheries Research and Development InstituteBusanKorea

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