Feeding ecology, age, growth and sexual cycle of the Portuguese sole, Synaptura lusitanica

Henrique N. Cabral, Ana I Catarino, Joana Figueiredo, Joana Garcia, Miguel Henriques

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    Portuguese sole, Synaptura lusitanica, were collected from the Portuguese coast, between April 2001 and March 2002, to examine feeding habits, age and growth, and sexual cycle. Synaptura lusitanica fed on few prey items, its diet mainly composed of polychaeta, bivalvia and cephalochordata. Significant differences were found between the proportion of prey items according to season, length class of fish and coastal area. The main differences related to fish size were the higher ingestion of bivalvia by larger fish, in the west coast area, and the increase in the important cephalochordata for fish larger than 300 mm total length, in the south coastal areas. Polychaeta presented a lower importance in the spring - summer period while bivalvia increased its values in the autumn - winter period. Cephalochordata were more important in the autumn - winter period, but only for fish larger than 300 mm total length and in the south coastal areas. Vacuity was extremely high (mean value of 52%). Ages of S. lusitanica were determined from sagittae otoliths. The length of fish analysed varied from 157 mm to 480 mm, and the oldest fish was age 8. The von Bertalanffy growth equation parameters differed little between sexes, being the asymptotic length obtained for females higher compared to males. The highest values of the gonadosomatic index were obtained in summer, which was the period when the highest percentage of individuals in the spawning stage were recorded. Therefore, the spawning season seems to be from mid-spring (May) until the end of summer (September).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)613-618
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Aquatic Science


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