Polar Biology

, Volume 34, Issue 9, pp 1375–1384 | Cite as

Resource partitioning in two carcinophagous confamiliars: distribution and feeding habits of psychrolutid fish on the southern Patagonian shelf

  • V. LaptikhovskyEmail author
  • P. Brickle
Original Paper


Psychrolutes marmoratus and Cottunculus granulosus, two psychrolutids, inhabit the shelf and continental slope of the southern South America between 45 and 1,250 m. Over this range, the P. marmoratus is found in depths of less than 400 m, whilst C. granulosus inhabits waters of >200 m. There is a trend of increasing total length with increasing water depth for P. marmoratus and the converse for C. granulosus. The total lengths of the species are different in the depth zone that they overlap in (200–400 m), and we hypothesise that this may reduce interspecific competition. Both are specialised carcinophagous feeding on crabs, large isopods and sea spiders, but they also prey upon polychaets and gastropods. There was no difference in the feeding spectra of similar-sized fish sampled at the same depth, indicating a similar foraging strategy. In contrast to this, the feeding spectra are quite different between the species over different depths as well as at different adult sizes. The feeding niche breadth in these species is similar to other slope dwelling fish in the area.


Psychrolutes marmoratus Cottunculus granulosus Feeding Resource partitioning Falkland Islands South Atlantic 



Authors sincerely thank crew and the captain of RV “Dorada” for their invaluable help during research cruises and observers of the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department who participated in sample collection (Jorge Torrens, Lars Jürgens, Teresa Athayde, Sandra Cordes, Neil Anders, Esther Sancho, Sarah Hearne, Robert Whiteley and Joost Pompert). Finally, we thank Dr. Guy Duhamel (MNHN, Paris), Dr. A. I. Arkhipkin (FIFD, Stanley) and one of anonymous reviewers for valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fisheries DepartmentFalkland Islands Government, Directorate of Natural ResourcesStanleyFalkland Islands

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