African Journal of Marine Science

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Diet of large-eye dentex Dentex macrophthalmus (Pisces: Sparidae) off Angola and Namibia

K Kilongo, P Barros, M Diehdiou


The large-eye dentex Dentex macrophthalmus is a major target species of the demersal fishery off Angola, and is taken as bycatch off northern Namibia. Its prey spectrum off Angola and Namibia is described from the stomach contents of 593 individuals collected between northern Namibia (21°S) and northern Angola (6°S) during a bottom trawl survey carried out in 1997. In all, 20 prey types were recorded in the diet, demonstrating that it is an opportunist feeder. The main food items were fish (80.9%), euphausiids (12.0%), polychaetes (4.8%), crustaceans (2.5%) and cephalopods (0.1%). The variety of prey increases with fish size, but there is no systematic effect of depth on the diet. The dominant prey types varied as a function of fish size as well as spatially, demonstrating the different ecological niches provided by the Angola Current off northern Angola, the cold Benguela Current off northern Namibia, and the Angola-Benguela Front off southern Angola.

Keywords: Angola, dentex, food, Namibia, prey

African Journal of Marine Science 2007, 29(1): 49–54
AJOL African Journals Online