Prey availability and community composition: Diet analysis of the black angler fish Lophius budegassa Spinola, 1807 in the south-eastern Mediterranean Sea

Phillip J. Haubrock, Gianna Innocenti, Sarah Ashley Mueller, Shevy Bat Sheva Rothman, Bella S. Galil, Menachem Goren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present article is the first to describe the diet of the black anglerfish Lophius budegassa, an opportunistic, non-selective, ambush predator, on the upper slope of the south eastern Mediterranean Sea. The deep-water rose prawn, Parapenaeus longirostris, and the short nose green eye, Chlorophthalmus agassizi, are identified as its main prey items. We used stomach contents as a proxy of prey availability, thus reflecting the local species abundance in the warm, oligotrophic environment of the south eastern Levant. Current models predict increasing temperatures and oligotrophy in the Mediterranean Sea. The results of this study depicting the diet of the Levantine population of L. budegassa, which varies from other Mediterranean populations, could indicate possible Mediterranean-wide shifts in prey distribution and abundance driven by climate change and anthropogenic disturbance. In addition, we augment the knowledge regarding the species’ feeding ecology, especially regarding possible sex and size dissimilarity. We propose the use of diet analyses from non-selective predators like L. budegassa as a mean to identify changes in community compositions and differences among communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100940
JournalRegional Studies in Marine Science
Volume33
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Levant sea
  • Oligotrophy
  • Stomach contents
  • Upper slope

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