Antarctic Science

Papers—Life Sciences and Oceanography

Diet of two Antarctic dragonfish (Pisces: Bathydraconidae) from the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean

Evgeny A. Pakhomov a1c1
a1 Southern Ocean Group, Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa

Article author query
pakhomov e   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


The diet of Cygnodraco mawsoni Waite 1916 and Gymnodraco acuticeps Boulenger 1902 (Pisces: Bathydraconidae) was studied in the Cooperation and Cosmonaut seas in the depth range 200–400 m during the summer 1988. Stomach content analysis showed that both species are piscivorous predators but with different feeding habits. Cygnodraco mawsoni fed mostly on young notothenioid fish, regularly complementing these with pelagic, Euphausia superba, and benthic crustaceans, such as amphipod gammarids and mysids. In contrast, G. acuticeps relied mostly on mesopelagic fish of the family Myctophidae. Although C. mawsoni and G. acuticeps occupy similar depths in the Cosmonaut Sea, different feeding habits appear to limit the probability of interspecific competition for food.

(Received August 14 1997)
(Accepted November 10 1997)

Key Words: Antarctica; Bathydraconidae; diet; feeding ecology; Indian Ocean sector.

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