Food Habits of Juveniles of Spotted Seatrout and Gray Snapper in Western Florida Bay
Stomach contents were analyzed from 144 juvenile spotted seatrout, Cynoscion nebulosus, and 215 juvenile gray snapper, Lutjanus griseus, collected by trawl or rotenone from shallow seagrass flats, deep bank channels, or mangrove prop root habitats in western Florida Bay. Both species fed almost exclusively on crustaceans and fishes. Smaller non-decapod crustaceans–copepods, amphipods, and mysids–were more abundant as measured by percent occurrence in the smallest size classes (<50 mm SL). Penaeid shrimp, the most numerous prey in both fishes, and caridean shrimp increased in percent occurrence as fish increased in size. Fish were important in the largest size classes, above 150 mm SL. Rainwater killifish, Lucania parva, was the most common fish consumed. About 20% of the trout and snapper had empty stomachs when collected in grass flats, whereas about 60% of both species had empty stomachs when taken in channels. Relatively few fish were collected in mangroves and none of these specimens contained penaeids. No prey species were identified in either gamefish that are not common in Florida Bay.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1989-01-01
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