Scientia Marina, Vol 73, No 1 (2009)

Chaetognath spatial distribution and how egg-carrying affects the vertical distribution of Sagitta tasmanica off southern Chile

Francisco Villenas
Escuela de Ciencias del Mar, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile

Sergio Palma
Escuela de Ciencias del Mar, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile

Daniela Soto
Escuela de Ciencias del Mar, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile


Six chaetognath species were determined, all for the first time, in the inner waters between Reloncaví Fjord and Boca del Guafo, Chile. Sagitta tasmanica (85.3%) and Eukrohnia hamata (5.8%) were dominant. Sagitta minima was collected for the first time in the southern channel and fjord region. The largest chaetognath aggregations were found around the Desertores Islands, which create a geographic barrier between two microbasins (north and south) with different oceanographic characteristics. S. decipiens was distributed mostly in the surface layer (0-50 m), whereas E. hamata, S. chilensis, S. minima, and S. enflata were found in deeper waters (50-200 m). The vertical distribution of S. tasmanica was homogeneous; mature, egg-carrying individuals were found at greater depths than those without eggs.


chaetognaths; spatial distribution; vertical distribution; southern channels; Chile

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