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Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2018, Vol 18, Num, 2     (Pages: 277-287)

Trophic Ecology of Eight Sympatric Nemipterid Fishes (Nemipteridae) in the Lower Part of the South China Sea

Mithun Paul 1 ,Sukree Hajisamae 2 ,Siriporn Pradit 1 ,Permsak Perngmark 3 ,Rashedul Islam 1

1 Prince of Songkla University, Marine and Coastal Resources Institute (MACORIN), Hat Yai, Songkhla 90112, Thailand
2 Prince of Songkla University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Pattani 94000, Thailand
3 Southern Marine Fisheries and Development Center, Songkhla, Songkhla 90000, Thailand
DOI : 10.4194/1303-2712-v18_2_07 Viewed : 3814 - Downloaded : 3448 Trophic ecology of eight species of nemipterid fish including Nemipterus mesoprion, N. hexodon, N. nemurus, N. nematophorus, N. tambuloides, N. peronii, N. furcosus and Scolopsis taeniopterus were studied to investigate their diet composition and trophic relationships between them. Our findings revealed that they were specific predators feeding mainly on shrimp and fish. N. nemurus and N. tambuloides were the most piscivorous species of them all, and N. mesoprion was a specific shrimp predator. In general, there were highly significant differences of stomach fullness (FL) and average number of food item (AF) among species (P<0.01). Size classes significantly affected FL of five species including N. nematophorus, N. mesoprion, N. nemurus, N. tamboloides and S. taeniopterus (P<0.05) and AF of four species including N. nemurus, S. taeniopterus, N. hexodon and N. Peronii (P<0.05). Sex was an influential factor on FL of N. mesoprion (P<0.01) and N. preonii (P<0.05) and AF of N. hexodon (P<0.05) and N. peronii (P<0.05). Maturity stages significantly affected FL of N. mesoprion (P<0.01) and S. taeniopterus (P<0.05) , however, they had no impact on AF of any species (P>0.05). The coexistence of these species in the bottom waters of this habitat requires partitioning of available food resources. Keywords : Feeding ecology, thread fin bream, demersal fish, Gulf of Thailand, fish biology