Scientia Marina, Vol 62, No 4 (1998)

Distribution patterns and feeding success of anchovy, Engraulis anchoita, larvae off southern Brazil


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.1998.62n4385

Marcelo Cunha Vasconcellos
Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Canada

Katia Felizola Freire
Universidade do Rio Grande, Departamento de Oceanografia, Brazil

Jorge Pablo Castello
Universidade do Rio Grande, Departamento de Oceanografia, Brazil

Abstract


Feeding success and changes in horizontal patchiness relative to size were studied for anchovy, Engraulis anchoita, larvae caught with a Bongo net off southern Brazil. Results show higher feeding success rates during winter, when the combined effect of enrichment, stability and retention mechanisms seems to create optimal conditions for larval feeding. Under optimal feeding conditions larvae of more than 10 mm have higher feeding success rates than smaller size classes. With a simple body structure and low swimming capabilities, larvae of up to 10 mm show a low level of patchiness, low evasion rate of the sampling gear and feeding on small food particles only. Results corroborate the hypothesis of a critical period between two important ontogenic phases: the beginning of exogenous feeding and the onset of active swimming, gas gland buoyancy and school forming behavior.

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