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VERTICAL DISTRIBUTION AND FEEDING OF THE SHRIMP GENERA GENNADAS AND BENTHEOGENNEMA (DECAPODA: PENAEIDEA) IN THE EASTERN GULF OF MEXICO

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ABSTRACT Five species of Gennadas and one species of the closely related genus Benthengennema are found in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Gennadas undergoes diel migration with most of the population concentrating at 650-850 m in the day and at 150–400 m during the night. Bentheogennema intermedia remains below 900 m. Gennadas valens is the most abundant species and constitutes 63% of the Gennadas catch. Maximum density for the genus was 6/ 1,000 m3 and the number under a square meter of sea surface was estimated at 2 individuals. Populations have been underestimated, however, as juveniles escape through the trawl meshes. The diets of Gennadas and Bentheogennema are diverse and consist of a wide variety of primarily small, 1-5 mm plankton (mostly copepods) and greenish brown detritus containing fragments of epipelagic microplankton. Little difference exists in the diets of the six species considered, or between adults and juveniles of the most abundant species, G. valens. The appendages of these penaeids appear to be structurally adapted for capturing both the prey and detritus found in their digestive tracts. Evidence exists for time-space resource partitioning if the entire diel period and population size structure are considered. However, there is marked co-occurrence of triplets and pairs of species at night, the period of most active feeding.

Affiliations: 1: (JJH) Harbor Branch Foundation, R.R. 1, Box 196, Fort Pierce, Florida 33450:; 2: (TLH) Department of Marine Science, University of South Florida, 830 1st St. S., St. Petersburg, Florida 33701.

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/content/journals/10.1163/1937240x81x00302
1981-01-01
2017-03-24

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