Ichthyological Research

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 160–167 | Cite as

Distribution and diet of the roughskin sculpin, Trachidermus fasciatus, larvae and juveniles in the Chikugo River estuary, Ariake Bay, Japan

  • Md. Shahidul Islam
  • Manabu Hibino
  • Masaru Tanaka
Full paper


Larvae and juveniles of the roughskin sculpin Trachidermus fasciatus were collected during four cruises in March and April 2001 to study the distribution and diet of the fish in the Chikugo estuary in the northern Ariake Bay, Japan. Sampling was conducted at seven stations covering an area approximately 30 km in length along the estuary, with salinity ranging from nearly 0 to about 30 PSU. Gut contents were analyzed by separating, identifying, and counting the prey organisms. Plankton samples were collected during each cruise to study the numerical composition and abundance of copepods in ambient water. A total of 1790 larvae and juveniles of T. fasciatus were collected; they were distributed in the five uppermost stations, covering approximately 20 km and ranging in salinity from 0.4 to 27.4 PSU. The fish fed almost exclusively on a single calanoid copepod species, Sinocalanus sinensis, which was numerically the most abundant in the ambient water at the upper part of the Chikugo River. At the lower part of the river, the fish positively selected S. sinensis while negatively selecting other species. T. fasciatus larvae experienced a high proportion of empty guts and low feeding intensity at around 9.0 mm body length, which appears to be associated with commencement of exogenous feeding. The proportion of empty guts reduced sharply at subsequent stages and was accompanied by an increase in feeding intensity. The oligohaline and mesohaline areas are important nursery grounds, and S. sinensis is an important prey copepod species for the larval and juvenile T. fasciatus in the Chikugo estuary.

Key words

Distribution and diet Roughskin sculpin Trachidermus fasciatus Chikugo River estuary Ariake Bay 


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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Md. Shahidul Islam
    • 1
  • Manabu Hibino
    • 1
  • Masaru Tanaka
    • 1
  1. 1.Field Science Education and Research CenterGraduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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