Fisheries Science

, Volume 78, Issue 3, pp 577–587 | Cite as

Food habits of small fishes in seagrass habitats in Trang, southern Thailand

  • Masahiro Horinouchi
  • Prasert Tongnunui
  • Keisuke Furumitsu
  • Yohei Nakamura
  • Kouki Kanou
  • Atsuko Yamaguchi
  • Ken Okamoto
  • Mitsuhiko Sano
Original Article Biology


To clarify the feeding habits of seagrass fishes, we examined the gut contents from 42 fish species collected in seagrass habitats in Trang. Thirteen species showed ontogenetic and/or seasonal changes in food-use patterns. Smaller individuals generally preyed on small planktonic items (e.g., copepod larvae) or small benthic/epiphytic crustaceans (e.g., harpacticoid copepods), with subsequent changes to other prey items (e.g., shrimps, crabs, detritus and filamentous algae) with growth. The most important dietary items for the seagrass fish assemblages comprised benthic/epiphytic crustaceans, detritus, and planktonic copepods. Cluster analysis based on dietary overlaps showed that the seagrass fishes comprised eight feeding guilds (large benthic/epiphytic crustacean, detritus, planktonic animal, small benthic/epiphytic crustacean, mollusc, invertebrate egg, polychaete, and fish feeders). Of these, the first three guilds were the most abundantly represented, whereas the last three were each represented by only a single species.


Enhalus acoroides Fish assemblage Diet Ontogenetic change Seasonal change 



We are grateful to Yukinori Nakane, Kusuto Nanjo, Suwat Tanyaros, Ruanritt Sussuwan, and the staff of the Faculty of Science and Fisheries Technology, Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya for their generous assistance in the field work, and Ai Yoshizawa and Sachi Sugiura for their helpful suggestions in fish identification. Constructive comments on the manuscript from Graham Hardy and anonymous referees were much appreciated. This work was conducted with the permission of the National Research Council of Thailand and was financially supported by a Grant-in aid for Scientific Research (B) from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan (No. 22405028).


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masahiro Horinouchi
    • 1
  • Prasert Tongnunui
    • 2
  • Keisuke Furumitsu
    • 3
  • Yohei Nakamura
    • 4
  • Kouki Kanou
    • 5
  • Atsuko Yamaguchi
    • 3
  • Ken Okamoto
    • 6
  • Mitsuhiko Sano
    • 6
  1. 1.Research Center for Coastal Lagoon EnvironmentsShimane UniversityMatsueJapan
  2. 2.Department of Marine ScienceRajamangala University of Technology SrivijayaTambon Maifad, SikaoThailand
  3. 3.Faculty of FisheriesNagasaki UniversityNagasakiJapan
  4. 4.Graduate School of Kuroshio ScienceKochi UniversityNankokuJapan
  5. 5.Center of Water Environment StudiesIbaraki UniversityItakoJapan
  6. 6.Department of Ecosystem Studies, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life SciencesThe University of TokyoBunkyo-ku, TokyoJapan

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