Temporal changes in the diet of deep-water Penaeoidean shrimp (Parapenaeus longirostris and Aristeus antennatus) off Algeria (southwestern Mediterranean)


  • Ahmed Nouar Laboratoire Halieutique, FSB-USTHB
  • Hanane Kennouche Laboratoire Halieutique, FSB-USTHB
  • Nawel Ainoucheand Laboratoire Halieutique, FSB-USTHB
  • Joan E. Cartes Institut de Ciències del Mar, CSIC




Parapenaeus longirostris, Aristeus antennatus, trophic relationships, southwestern Mediterranean, Algerian waters


With the aim of analyzing the trophic dynamics of deep-sea shrimp over the central Algerian slope, stomach contents of 219 individuals of Parapenaeus longirostris and 263 Aristeus antennatus were collected at night at depths between 200 and 400 m on a seasonal scale in 2007. Fullness (f), which is a measure of feeding intensity, showed significant seasonal changes in Aristeus antennatus, and the highest f was found in pre-reproductive periods (3.3% in January; 3.0% in April) before the beginning of gonad maturation (April-September in the area). This trend was coupled with the period of high surface productivity off the central Algerian coast (November-April). In that pre-reproductive period A. antennatus consumed more crustaceans (e.g. large decapods such as Processa sp.) with a high energetic value. These kinds of seasonal oscillations in f were not found in P. longirostris, probably because it was distributed shallower than A. antennatus and does not have a single marked peak in its reproductive cycle. The dietary composition of P. longirostris and A. antennatus was clearly segregated in the MDS analysis, which suggests there is good resource partitioning between the two species. Foraminiferans, bivalves and polychaetes were the most frequent prey in the diet of both P. longirostris and A. antennatus. Small micro and mesoplankton prey (radiolarians, tintinnids, copepods and pteropods) were more important in the diet of P. longirostris, while A. antennatus fed more on benthos. Planktonic prey found in the diet of the two shrimp were more frequent in January-February and April-May, e.g. in periods of higher water homogeneity coupled with periods of higher surface production. The large contribution of zooplankton to the diet of the deep-water shrimp over Algerian slopes is probably due to the importance of eddies in the area, which may enhance water column production locally. The high surface temperature (lowest T in January of 15.2°C) may accelerate the degradation of the organic matter that reaches Algerian slope bottoms, thus reducing the biomass of macrobenthos. We hypothesized that this low availability of benthic food resources may favour night time migratory movements by benthopelagic shrimp off the Algerian coast in search of more productive, shallow bottoms.


Download data is not yet available.


Andersen, V., C. Devey, A. Gubanova, M. Picheral, V. Melnikov, S. Tsarin and L. Prieur. – 2004. Vertical distributions of zooplankton across the Almeria-Oran frontal zone (Mediterranean Sea). J. Plank. Res., 26: 275-293. doi:10.1093/plankt/fbh036

Anderson, M.J., R.N. Gorley and K.R. Clarke. – 2008. PERMANOVA + for PRIMER: Guide to Software and Statistical Methods. PRIMERE: Plymouth, UK.

Benzohra, M. and C. Millot. – 1995. Characteristics and circulation of the surface and intermediate water masses off Algeria. Deep Sea Res. I., 42(10): 1803-1830. doi:10.1016/0967-0637(95)00043-6

Cartes, J.E. – 1993. Deep-sea decapod fauna of the Western Mediterranean: Bathymetric distribution and biogeographic aspects. Crustaceana, 65(1): 29-40. doi:10.1163/156854093X00342

Cartes, J.E. – 1994. Influence of Depth and Season on the diet of the deep water Aristeid Aristeus antennatus along the Continental Slope (400 to 2300) in the Catalane Sea (Western Mediterranean). Mar. Biol., 120 (4): 639-648. doi:10.1007/BF00350085

Cartes, J.E. – 1995. Diets and trophic resources exploited by bathyal penaeoidean shrimps from the Western Mediterranean. Mar. Fresh. Res., 46(6); 889-896. doi:10.1071/MF9950889

Cartes, J.E., F. Sardà, J.B. Company and J. Lleonart. – 1993. Day-night migrations by deep-sea decapod crustaceans in experimental samplings in the Western Mediterranean Sea. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 171: 63-73. doi:10.1016/0022-0981(93)90140-J

Cartes, J.E., P. Abelló, D. Lloris, A. Carbonell, P. Torres, F. Maynou and L. Gil de Sola. – 2002. Analysis of feeding guilds of fish and decapod crustaceans during the MEDITS-99 cruise along the Iberian Peninsula Mediterranean coasts. Sci. Mar., 66(2): 209-220.

Cartes, J.E. and M. Carrassón. – 2004. The influence of trophic variables in the depth-range distribution and zonation rates of deep-sea megafauna: the case of the Western Mediterranean assemblages. Deep Sea Res. I, 51: 263-279. doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2003.10.001

Cartes, J.E., V. Papiol and B. Guijarro. – 2008. The feeding and diet of the deep-sea shrimp Aristeus antennatus off the Balearic Islands (Western Mediterranean): influence of environmental factors and relationships with biological cycle. Prog. Oceanogr., 79: 37-54. doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2008.07.003

Cartes J.E., F. Maynou, E. Fanelli, C. Romano, V. Mamouridis and V. Papiol. – 2009. The distribution of megabenthic invertebrate epifauna in the Balearic Basin (western Mediterranean) between 400 and 2300 m. Environmental gradients influencing assemblages composition and biomass trends. J. Sea Res., 61: 244-257. doi:10.1016/j.seares.2009.01.005

Casanova, B. – 1974. Les euphausiacés de Méditerranée. Ph. D. thesis, Univ. Provence (Aix Marseille I), France.

Dagorne, A. – 1973. Sédimentologie et bionomie benthique en baie de Bou Ismail (ex. Castiglione). Bull. Inst. Océanogr. d’Alger. Pélagos, 4(2):40-53.

Fanelli, E. and J.E. Cartes. – 2008. Spatio-temporal variability in the diet of two pandalid shrimps in the western Mediterranean evidenced from gut-contents and stable isotope analysis: influence on the reproductive cycle. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 355: 219-233. doi:10.3354/meps07260

Guijarro, B., E. Massutí, J. Moranta and J.E. Cartes. – 2009. Short spatio-temporal variations in the population dynamics and biology of the deep-water rose shrimp Parapenaeus longirostris (Decapoda: Crustacea) in the western Mediterranean. Sci. Mar., 73(1): 183-197.

Hyslop, H.J. – 1980. Stomach contents analysis - a review of methods and their application. J. Fish Biol., 17: 411-429. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1980.tb02775.x

Kapiris, K., M. Thessalou-Legaki, G. Petrakis, M. Moraitou-Apostolopoulou and C. Papaconstantinou. – 2000. Population characteristics and comparison of feeding parameters of Aristaeomorpha foliacea and Aristeus antennatus (Decapoda: Aristeidae) from the Ionian Sea (Eastern Mediterranean). In: F.R. Schram and J.C. von Vaupel Klein (eds.), Crustaceans and the biodiversity crisis. Proceed. Fourth Int. Crustacean Congr., Amsterdam, Netherlands, 20-24 July 1998, pp. 177-191. Brill, Leiden.

Khelifi-Touhami, M., R. Semroud, E.H. Hamdi, M. Ounissi, A. Haridi, M.N. Daly and P. Aissa. – 2007. The planktonic copepod communities from the southern Mediterranean Sea (Algeria, Tunisia) with a re-description of Paracalanus indicus Wolfenden 1905 (Copepoda: Calanoida). Cah. Biol. Mar., 48: 327-337.

Labropoulou M. and I. Kostikas. – 1999. Patterns of resource use in deep water decapods. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 184: 171-182. doi:10.3354/meps184171

Lagardère, J.P. – 1972. Recherches sur l’alimentation des crevettes de la pente continentale marocaine. Tethys, 3: 655-675.

Laubier, A. – 1986. Les crevettes peneides. Aquaculture, 1: 459-491.

Matarrese, A., G. D’Onghia, M. De Florio, M. Panza and G. Constantino. – 1995. Recenti acquisizioni sulla distribuzione batimetrica di Aristaeomorpha foliacea e Aristeus antennatus (Crustacea, Decapoda) nel Mar Jonio. Biol. Mar. Medit., 2(2): 299-300.

Maynou, F. – 2008. Environmental causes of the fluctuations of red shrimp (Aristeus antennatus) landings in the Catalan Sea. J. Mar. Syst., 71(3-4): 294-302. doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2006.09.008

Maynou, F. and J. E. Cartes. – 1997. Field estimation of daily ration in deep-sea shrimp Aristeus antennatus (Crustacea: Decapoda) in the western Mediterranean. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 153: 191-196. doi:10.3354/meps153191

Millot, C. - 1985. Some features of the Algerian current. J. Geophys. Res., 90(4): 7169-7176. doi:10.1029/JC090iC04p07169

Mouffok, S., E. Massutí, Z. Boutiba, B. Guijarro, F. Ordines and K. Fliti. – 2008. Ecology and fishery of the deep-water shrimp, Aristeus antennatus (Risso, 1816) off Algeria (south-western Mediterranean). Crustaceana, 81: 1177-1199. doi:10.1163/156854008X374513

Nomaki, H., P. Heinz, C. Hemleben and H. Kitazato. – 2005. Behavior and response of deep-sea benthic Foraminifera to freshly supplied organic matter: a laboratory feeding experiment in microcosm. J. Foram. Res, 35(2): 103-113. doi:10.2113/35.2.103

Nouar, A. – 2001. Bioécologie de Aristeus antennatus (Risso, 1816) et de Parapeneaeus longirostris (Lucas, 1846) des côtes algériennes. Rapp. Comm. int. Mer Médit., 36: 304.

Nouar, A. and C. Maurin. – 2001. Nature of and typical populations on the characteristic facies of substratum of Parapenaeus longirostris (Lucas, 1846) along the Algerian coast) Crustaceana, 74: 129-135.

Reid, S.B., J. Hirota, R.E. Young and L.E. Hallacher. – 1991. Mesopelagic-boundary community in Hawaii: Micronekton at the interface between neritic and oceanic ecosystems. Mar. Biol., 109: 427-440. doi:10.1007/BF01313508

Relini-Orsi, L. and M. Wütz. – 1977. Aspetti della rete trofica batiale riguardanti Aristeus antennatus (Risso, 1816) (Crustacea, Penaeidae). Atti X Congr. Sic. Ital. Biol. Mar. Ischia., 389-398.

Rosecchi, E. and Y. Nouaze. – 1985. Comparaison de cinq indices alimentaires utilisés dans l’analyse des contenus stomacaux. Rev. Trav. Inst. Pêches marit., 49 (3-4): 111-123.

Ruiz, S., J. Font, M. Emelianov, J. Isern-Fontanet, C. Millot, J. Salas and I. Taupier-Letage. – 2002. Deep structure of an open sea eddy in the Algerian Basin. J. Mar. Syst., 33-34: 179-195. doi:10.1016/S0924-7963(02)00058-1

Salas, J., C. Millot, J. Font and E. Garcialadona. - 2002. Analysis of mesoscale phenomena in the Algerian Basin observed with drifting buoys and infrared images. Deep-Sea Res. I, 49(2): 245-266. doi:10.1016/S0967-0637(01)00052-8

Taupier-Letage, I., I. Puillat, C. Millot, and P. Raimbault. – 2003. Biological response to mesoscale eddies in the Algerian Basin. J. Geophys. Res., 108: 8. doi:10.1029/1999JC000117

Tselepides, A. and A. Elefhteriou. – 1992. South Aegean (Eastern Mediterranean) continental slope benthos: Macro-infaunal-environmental relationships. In: Rowe G. T., Pariente, V. (eds.), Deep sea food chains and the global carbon cycle, pp. 139-156. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.

Vetter, E.W. and P.K. Dayton. – 1998. Macrofaunal communities within and adjacent to a detritus-rich submarine canyon system. Deep Sea Res., 45: 25-34. doi:10.1016/S0967-0645(97)00048-9

Yahiaoui, M. – 1994. Distribution and reproduction cycle of Aristeus antennatus and Aristaeomorpha foliacea in Algeria. NTR-ITPP Spec. Publ. Mazara del Vallo, 1994: 51-52.




How to Cite

Nouar A, Kennouche H, Ainoucheand N, Cartes JE. Temporal changes in the diet of deep-water Penaeoidean shrimp (Parapenaeus longirostris and Aristeus antennatus) off Algeria (southwestern Mediterranean). scimar [Internet]. 2011Jun.30 [cited 2022Sep.25];75(2):279-88. Available from: https://scientiamarina.revistas.csic.es/index.php/scientiamarina/article/view/1251




Most read articles by the same author(s)