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Diet Composition of the Penaeid Shrimp, Melicertus Kerathurus (Forskål, 1775) (Decapoda, Penaeidae) in the Aegean Sea

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The diet composition of adult and juvenile individuals of the penaeid shrimp, Melicertus kerathurus was determined, based on the analysis of 145 and 48 specimens, respectively, collected off and inside Pinios estuary (N.W. Aegean Sea).

The adult individuals displayed a diversified diet, mainly based on Mollusca, Crustacea, and Polychaeta. The diet of the juvenile individuals is also diverse, with Crustacea being the most dominant prey category. Feeding activity of the juvenile M. kerathurus, which are also active predators, seems to be higher than that of the adults.

Multidimensional analyses demonstrated that the diets of the juvenile and adult individuals were significantly different. This should probably be attributed to corresponding differences in the composition of the benthic assemblages of the open sea (adult individuals) and inside Pinios estuary (juveniles), as well as to developmental differences between the adults and the juveniles that affect their feeding behaviour. Le régime alimentaire des adultes et des juvéniles de la crevette pénéide Melicertus kerathurus a été établi à partir de 145 et 48 spécimens provenant, respectivement, du large et de l'intérieur de l'estuaire de Pinios (partie nord-ouest de la mer Egée).

Les adultes ont montré un régime alimentaire diversifié, contenant principalement des mollusques, des crustacés et des polychètes. Le régime alimentaire des juvéniles est également diversifié, les crustacés étant la catégorie dominante de proies. L'activité de nutrition des juvéniles de M. kerathurus, qui sont aussi des prédateurs actifs, semble être plus élevée que celle des adultes.

Des analyses multidimensionnelles ont démontré que les régimes alimentaires des individus juvéniles et adultes différaient signiflcativement. Elles pourraient être attribuées à des différences correspondantes dans la composition des assemblages benthiques de pleine mer (adultes) et dans l'estuaire de Pinios (juvéniles) ainsi qu'à des différences liées au développement entre stades juvéniles et adultes, qui influencent leur comportement de nutrition.


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