Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 53 Issue 2
Comparative study on the mouth morphology and diet of three co-occurring species of silverbellies along the Kerala coast
Honey Sebastian, N. D. Inasu and Jeeja Tharakan doi: 10.6024/jmbai.2011.53.2.01634-07
Three species of pony fishes, Gazza minuta Bloch, 1797, Leiognathus brevirostris Valenciennes, 1835 and Secutor insidiator Bloch, 1797, which co-occur in the same locality along Kerala coast use resource at different levels in the water column, for which their feeding apparatus is suitably modified. The highest degree of jaw protrusion in an upward direction, smallest mouth tube opening measurements, small teeth and greater number of gill rakers in S. insidiator is associated with planktivorous diet (81.46%) whereas, intermediate degree of jaw protrusion in a downward direction fewer number of gill rakers and small teeth in L. brevirostris enable consumption of 59.75% plankton along with benthos and other food items. G. minuta has the least jaw protrusion in a horizontal direction, the lowest number of gill rakers but the highest mouth tube opening with a pointed curved teeth on both jaws, which facilitate predation on larger prey taxa including fish and cuttlefish (48.04%) and almost equal percentages of plankton and benthos.
Gazza minuta, Leiognathus brevirostris, Secutor insidiator, feeding apparatus, jaw protrusion, gill rakers
Date : 09-02-2012