The diet and feeding of the pelagic goby, sufflogobius bibarbatus, off Namibia
Cedras, Riaan Brinley
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The general diet of Sufflogobius bibarbatus in the northern Benguela upwelling ecosystem was investigated from gut content analysis in two separate studies. The first study was conducted over two 48 h diel sampling stations onboard the RV Dr. Fridtjof Nansen during a dedicated cruise conducted in January 2006, whilst the second was conducted on cruises of opportunity aboard the RV Welwitschia during 2001 and 2002. The results of both studies indicate that S. bibarbatus has a fairly generalised diet, feeding on benthic and pelagic animals for the most part: phytoplankton was uncommonly reported from the 3739 fish examined. Larger fish ate primarily benthic organisms, whereas smaller individuals include substantial number of pelagic organisms in their diet. There would appear to be a clear relationship between the environment occupied by individuals and their diet: large fish are predominantly demersal and display limited vertical migration, whilst small fish are thought to be more pelagic. Results strongly indicate that this species is opportunistic. The present study sheds new light on the ecology of the species, which is becoming increasingly important in the region.