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Food and Feeding of the Blue Swimmer Crab, Portunus Pelagicus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Decapoda, Brachyura) along the Coast of Mandapam, Tamil Nadu, India

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[Food habits of the blue swimmer crab, Portunus pelagicus were investigated using specimens collected from trawl catches in the Mandapam region, Tamil Nadu, along the east coast of India (9°20-25′N 79°5-10′E), during the period January to December, 1999. The stomach contents of 452 crabs, ranging from 61 to 180 mm carapace width, were analysed. Their diet included crustaceans, molluscs, fishes, unidentifiable matter, and debris. In adult crabs, crustaceans constituted the dominant food source and these were present in 78.43% of the stomachs analysed. The stomach contents of juveniles and sub-adults were dominated by debris. There was no significant difference between sexes in the frequency of occurrence of food items or in their “percentage points” [= the (virtual) percentual contribution to the fullness of a 100% full stomach]. However, there was a difference between the stomachs of ovigerous and non-ovigerous females. There were also significant differences in the preference for food items in the different size groups of the crab. The results collected from the present study showed that P. pelagicus exhibits, in this region at least, a clear preference for crustaceans., Food habits of the blue swimmer crab, Portunus pelagicus were investigated using specimens collected from trawl catches in the Mandapam region, Tamil Nadu, along the east coast of India (9°20-25′N 79°5-10′E), during the period January to December, 1999. The stomach contents of 452 crabs, ranging from 61 to 180 mm carapace width, were analysed. Their diet included crustaceans, molluscs, fishes, unidentifiable matter, and debris. In adult crabs, crustaceans constituted the dominant food source and these were present in 78.43% of the stomachs analysed. The stomach contents of juveniles and sub-adults were dominated by debris. There was no significant difference between sexes in the frequency of occurrence of food items or in their “percentage points” [= the (virtual) percentual contribution to the fullness of a 100% full stomach]. However, there was a difference between the stomachs of ovigerous and non-ovigerous females. There were also significant differences in the preference for food items in the different size groups of the crab. The results collected from the present study showed that P. pelagicus exhibits, in this region at least, a clear preference for crustaceans.]

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/content/journals/10.1163/001121611x590111
2011-10-01
2016-08-24

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