Marine Biology

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 87–100 | Cite as

Comparison of the food of Triphoturus mexicanus and T. nigrescens, two lanternfishes of the Pacific Ocean

  • S. Imsand


Prey (chiefly euphausiids and copepods) eaten by two myctophids (lanternfishes) are compared from incidence in fish stomachs and from abundance in the environment. One lanternfish species, Triphoturus mexicanus, lives in the California Current, and the other, T. nigrescens, lives in the central Pacific Ocean. Although these two environments are very different physically and biologically, the feeding habits of the two lanternfishes are surprisingly similar. Prey biomass is 94% euphausiids, 3% copepods, and 3% other organisms for T. mexicanus and 88% euphausiids, 4.5% copepods, and 7.5% other organisms for T. nigrescens; the difference between the fish species is not significant when tested statistically. The two fishes resemble one another in frequency distributions of ingested copepod individuals, copepod species, euphausiid individuals, and euphausiid species. During a single diurnal feeding period, both fishes eat a variety of copepod species but tend to eat only a single species of euphausiid. T. mexicanus grows to twice the length of T. nigrescens and eats proportionally larger euphausiids; however, both fishes eat copepods having the same median size. The frequencies of euphausiid species in the diets of both fishes differ from the frequencies in the environment. The chief differences between the feeding habits of the two lanternfishes are that T. nigrescens, in comparison to its congener, eats a greater variety of organisms during one diurnal feeding period and captures smaller euphausiids. The feeding patterns for each lanternfish species are consistent over distances of hundreds of kilometers and over many years of sampling.


Biomass Fish Species Frequency Distribution Pacific Ocean Single Species 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Imsand
    • 1
  1. 1.A-008, Scripps Institution of OceanographyLa JollaUSA

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