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Volume 41 - Number 2 - 2006

Temporal variation in the diet of the red ling, Genypterus chilensis (Guichenot, 1881) in the coast off Talcahuano, Chile (36º32’S - 36º45’S)

Javier Chong1, Karina Sepúlveda1 y Christian M. Ibáñez2 

1 Departamento de Ecología Costera, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Casilla 297, Concepción, Chile
2 Departamento de Ciencias Ecológicas,Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 653, Santiago, Chile



A study of the gastric content of G. chilensis carried out in the area of Talcahuano is presented, based on samples obtained during two periods: 1974-75 and 1996-97. In the second period, monthly samples were obtained with the objective of performing seasonal comparisons in the diet. The diet was described by means of frequency, numeric and gravimetric methods, and numeric and relative importance index. Diversity was compared among years of sampling and between seasons of the second period. The red ling possesses a trophy spectrum with a clear preference toward the euriphagy in the study area, since it feeds at least of 38 types of prey corresponding to crustaceans, mollusks and fish, with Pleuroncodes monodon dominant in both periods. Differences in richness and diversity of prey among years were recorded; furthermore there were differences between spring and winter in the period 1996-97. The high consumption of benthic crustaceans, particularly of P. monodon, could be attributed to a higher consumption of more abundant prey, and the feeding preference would be associated with its way of benthic life and the environmental offer in the area and study time. The variations in the diet between years and seasons would depend on the changes in composition, abundance and diversity of the preys in the study area.


Key words: Genypterus chilensis, feeding, temporal variations, prey diversity



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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