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Volume 43 - Number 2 - 2008

Food habits of the yellow snapper Lutjanus argentiventris (Peters, 1869) (Percoidei: Lutjanidae) in La Paz Bay, Mexico

Rosa I. Vázquez1, Jesús Rodríguez1, Leonardo A. Abitia2 and Felipe Galván2


1Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, S.C., Mar Bermejo 195, Apdo. Postal, 128 La Paz, Baja California Sur, México, C.P. 23090
2Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional CICIMAR, Apdo. postal 592, La Paz, Baja California Sur, México. C.P. 23096



A total of 304 yellow snapper Lutjanus argentiventris stomachs were sampled bimonthly from April 2003 to April 2004, of which 44% contained food. We identified 54 prey species. From the index of relative importance (IRI), fish eggs (62%), Harengula thrissina (23%), Porichthys margaritatus (3.3%), and Abudefduf troschelii (2.3%) were the prey of greatest importance in its trophic spectrum. In juvenile snappers, the most important preys were unidentified organic matter (32%), the crustacean Upogebia pugettensis (29%), penaeid shrimp (6.5%), and fish eggs (5.2%). The Levin index determined that the diet breadth was low (Bi=0.0002), indicating that it is a specialist predator showing preference for fish eggs and H. thrissina. The same result was found in males (Bi=0.0002) and females (Bi = 0.0009). Although juveniles also showed a low trophic breadth, they preferred unidentified organic matter and U. pugettensis. The Morisita-Horn index showed considerable overlap in diet between genders (Cλ>0.6), though diet overlap was low between juveniles and adults (Cλ<0.2) reflecting feeding habitat differences between them


Key words: Yellow snapper, trophic habits, main prey, Gulf of California




1Laboratorio de Zooplancton, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología,Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. A. P. 70-305, 04510 México, D. F. México
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