Feeding of the Brazilian sharpnose shark

Published online on 04. May 2012

Feeding of the Brazilian sharpnose shark Rhizoprionodon lalandii (Müller & Henle, 1839) from southern Brazil

H. Bornatowski, M. R. Heithaus, V. Abilhoa, M. F. M. Corrêa


Stomach contents of 175 Brazilian sharpnose sharks, Rhizoprionodon lalandii, were examined to assess their feeding habits. Caught by artisanal fishers between June 2006 and July of 2007 at Ipanema Beach, on the central coast of the state of Paraná, southern Brazil, R. lalandii appears to be piscivorous (89.7% IRI), feeding mainly on families of Clupeidae (5.1% IRI) and Sciaenidae (3.7% IRI) and secondarily on squid Lolliguncula brevis (8.6% IRI). Diets were similar between sexes and seasons. However, there were ontogenetic changes in their diets. The major items for neonates were Penaeidae crustaceans (%IRI = 56.4) and Engraulidae fishes (%IRI = 29.3); for the juveniles, Sciaenidae (%IRI = 62.5) and Clupeidae (%IRI = 19.7), and for adults Clupeidae (%IRI = 45.8) and Sciaenidae (%IRI = 15.9). Only neonate sharks consumed crustaceans, whereas all size classes consumed cephalopods and teleosts. Neonates had the lowest trophic level (TR = 3.8), with the diet of juveniles and adults the highest (TR = 4.2). Given its abundance and diet, R. lalandii may be an important predator of demersal and pelagic prey in coastal waters of Brazil.

Journal of Applied Ichthyology. Early View Version. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0426.2012.01970.x



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