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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT Stomach contents of 1,025 Tanner crabs (Chionoecetes bairdi) >40 mm carapace width (CW) from three areas and nine sampling periods were examined quantitatively near Kodiak Island, Alaska; 857 (84%) of the crabs contained food. Arthropods (mainly juvenile C. bairdi) dominated the food weight. Fishes and mollusks (mainly the bivalves Macoma spp. and Yoldia spp.) were the second- and third-most important food groups, by weight. No significant difference in quantity of food was observed between sexes; however, significant differences were apparent in quantity of food consumed in sampling periods, areas, depths, size groups, and crab exoskeleton classes. Consumption was greatest during November and February, when the crabs were outside of the bays in localized deep-water areas (126-150 m) on the Kodiak Shelf. Small Tanner crabs (40-99 mm CW) generally contained more food than did large crabs (100-179 mm CW), and new-shell crabs consumed a greater amount of food than did old-shell crabs. Stomach contents of an additional 475 Tanner crabs ≤40 mm CW were examined near Kodiak Island by the frequency-of-occurrence method of analysis; 449 (95%) contained food. Mollusks (mainly the bivalves Axinopsida serricata and Nucula tenuis), fishes, decapod crustaceans, and polychaetes were found, in decreasing frequency of occurrence. Sediment was also frequently found.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Marine Science, University of Alaska, 905 Koyukuk Avenue North, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701.


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