Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2004Peer reviewedOpen access

Feeding ecology of the lesser weever, Echiichthys vipera (Cuvier, 1829), on the western coast of Portugal

Vasconcelos, R; Prista, N; Cabral, H; Costa, MJ


The feeding ecology of the lesser weever, Echiichthys vipera, from the adjacent coastal areas of the Douro and Tagus estuaries (Portugal) was studied between October 2000 and July 2002. The stomach contents of 246 individuals were analysed and diet was characterized by the numerical, gravimetric, occurrence and vacuity indices. Variation of feeding habits with fish length (<95 and >95 mm) and geographical area was considered. Diet of the lesser weever comprised a large variety of prey (28 species), the most important of which were crustaceans (numerical index, NI = 93.5%; occurrence index, OI = 75.6%), namely Mysidacea (especially Schistomysis sp.), Amphipoda (mainly Gammarus subtypicus) and Isopoda (Idotea spp.), and also Teleostei (mostly larval stages that posted a gravimetric index, GI = 53.0%). Diet varied with fish length, with large individuals showing a larger diversity of prey items. Furthermore, specimens from Douro also showed a higher diversity of prey items than those from Tagus. More than 50% of the stomachs were empty, being the highest vacuity values relative to smaller fishes as well as to individuals from the Tagus estuary adjacent coastal area.

Published in

Journal of Applied Ichthyology
2004, Volume: 20, number: 3, pages: 211-216

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Fish and Aquacultural Science

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)