February 1st to 5th 2016
Olhão, Portugal
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Food and Feeding habits of the Lessepsian migrant pufferfish Lagocephalus sceleratus from two different habitats, the Gulf of Suez and the Mediterranean Sea.

Scientific Exhibition
Biodiversity Effects
Thursday, February 4, 2016 -
17:30 to 19:30

El Ganainy, A.A. 1 Mowafy, A.A. 2 Ahmed, M.I. 3

1National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries
2Marine Biology Department, Faculty of Science, Suez Canal University
3Marine Biology Department, Faculty of Science, Suez Canal University

The Pufferfish Lagocephalus sceleratus is one of the most important lessepsian migrant species from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. The current study is aiming to investigate the food and feeding habits of the Pufferfish Lagocephalus sceleratus in two different habitats. Seasonal samples were collected from the Gulf of Suez and the Egyptian Mediterranean Sea during winter 2013 autumn 2014. The average total lengths, weights and alimentary tracts in the Gulf of Suez were larger than that in the Mediterranean. The diversity of food items found in stomachs of pufferfish Lagocephalus sceleratus collected from Gulf of Suez were greater than that found in stomachs of the same species collected from the Mediterranean Sea. Eighteen food items from different families recorded in the stomachs of L. sceleratus collected from the Gulf of Suez, while eleven items recorded in samples collected from the Mediterranean. The analysis of diet composition showed that the pufferfish Lagocephalus sceleratus is mainly omnivore, feeding on a wide variety of items in both study sites. Fishes food item recorded the highest rank in both study sites. It constituted by 7 varied species from different families constituting 41.54% of all food consumed in Red Sea while represented by 5 species from different families represented by 47.63% of all food items in the Mediterranean Sea, followed by crustaceans, Molluscans, Gastropods, Echinoderms, algae and nemerteans. The percentage of intensity of feeding in L. sceleratus clearly indicates a high rate of feeding activity. Fishes with stomachs half, three-quarter full and full of food constituted more than 50% of all analyzed individuals in the studied habitats, the maximum feeding intensity was observed in spring season and the minimum feeding intensity was observed during summer, which coincides with the spawning period. The seasonal changes in diet composition of L. sceleratus collected from both investigated areas showed that fish remains and crustacean parts were found in fish stomachs during all study period, while the other food components fluctuated in the different seasons. This study suggests a diet shift with increased body size to a molluscivore feeding which means that with increased body size, L. sceleratus was shown to shift its diet to molluscivore feeding. The study recommends further investigations on the lessepsian migrant species to monitor their ecological and biological impacts on the Mediterranean ecosystem.

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