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Research article1997Peer reviewed

Feeding ecology of Mediterranean razorfish Xyrichthys novacula in the Tyrrhenian Sea (Central Mediterranean Sea)

Cardinale, Massimiliano; Colloca, Francesco; Ardizzone, Giandomenico


The stomach contents of 196 razorfish (Xyrichthys novacula), collected in the Tyrrhenian Sea (Ponza Island, Italy) between July and December 1994, were examined in order to assess the diet and to analyse size-related dietary variation of the species. The diet of X. novacula showed a strict relationship with well-sorted fine sand (SFBC) benthic species, mostly Mollusca and Echinodermata, as pointed out by the analysis at the specific level of the stomach contents. Mollusca Pelecipoda, essentially Acanthocardium tuberculatum and Echinodermata, with Echinocardium cordatum, made up 90% of the volume of prey of X. novacula. Mysidacea and Gastropoda were frequent but volumetrically less important. The study showed that male and female X. novacula were not effectively segregated by trophic dimension in the study area. The niche overlap between males and females in prey composition was pronounced, as evidenced by the significantly high values of Schoener's index with larger males that showed a greater tendency towards predation of large prey. The increment in length (L.I.) in males, despite a decrease in the percentage body weight increment (B.W.I.), could represent the result of a male reproductive feature: the lack of sperm competition allows the males much more energy to devote to growth than do that of the females of this species.

Published in

Journal of Applied Ichthyology
1997, Volume: 13, number: 3, pages: 105-111

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science

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