Insights into the food and feeding habits of eight gestating females of elasmobrachs from Mumbai waters
Food and feeding habits of eight species of female elasmobranchs in gestation stages were studied. The low feeding intensity and smaller mean volume of food per fish (in ml) attributed with their gestating activities and cease feeding in the nursery region as protecting measures for young ones. The prey items occurred in guts content of these species were analyzed by index of relative importance (IRI). Carcharhinus macloti and Rhizoprionodon acutus (100 %) were piscivorous which feed exclusively on teleosts found above the bottom. Rhizoprionodon oligolinx (96.5 %) and Scoliodon laticaudus (50.3 %), were generalized predators, feeding throughout the water column and occasionally at bottom chiefly on teleost and small quantities of crustaceans and molluscs. Amphotistius imbricate (86.06 %), Rhinobatos annandalei (68.9 %) and Rhynchobatus djiddensis (61.58 %) were carnivores, feeding mainly on free-living crustaceans and supplemented by teleost at the sea bottom. Pastinachus sephen (76.59 %) showed a predacious carnivorous character exhibiting a tendency to feed mainly on bivalves along with small portion of crustaceans, teleost and mud by browsing at bottom. The prey organisms observed in stomach content of these species conferred with environment biota harvested by single and multi-days trawlers operating off Mumbai waters.
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