Deep-sea in situ observations of gonatid squid and their prey reveal high occurrence of cannibalism

Hoving, Henk-Jan T. and Robison, B. H. (2016) Deep-sea in situ observations of gonatid squid and their prey reveal high occurrence of cannibalism Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers, 116 . pp. 94-98. DOI 10.1016/j.dsr.2016.08.001.

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Supplementary data:


• In situ observations can provide valuable information on feeding behavior in deep-sea organisms.
• Gonatus spp. in Monterey Bay consume mesopelagic fishes, congeners and their own species.
• Sympatric species of the Gonatidae show differences in prey choice.
• Cannibalism is a significant component of the diet of Gonatus spp. in Monterey Bay.

In situ observations are rarely applied in food web studies of deep-sea organisms. Using deep-sea observations obtained by remotely operated vehicles in the Monterey Submarine Canyon, we examined the prey choices of more than 100 individual squids of the genus Gonatus. Off the California coast, these squids are abundant, semelparous (one reproductive cycle) oceanic predators but their diet has remained virtually unknown. Gonatus onyx and Gonatus berryi were observed to feed on mesopelagic fishes (in particular the myctophid Stenobrachius leucopsarus) as often as on squids but inter-specific differences in feeding were apparent. Gonatids were the most common squid prey and while cannibalism occurred in both species it was particularly high in Gonatus onyx (42% of all prey items). Typically, the size of prey was similar to the size of the predator but the squids were also seen to take much larger prey. Postjuvenile gonatids are opportunistic predators that consume nektonic members of the meso-and bathypelagic communities, including their own species. Such voracious feeding is likely necessary to support the high energetic demands associated with the single reproductive event; and for females the long brooding period during which they must depend on stored resources.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R03
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R10
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.dsr.2016.08.001
ISSN: 0967-0637
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2016 12:13
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 12:49

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