The gafftopsail catfish (Bagre marinus) is one of the species of most importance to fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly in the coastal region of Tabasco. Annual reproductive cycle of gafftopsail catfish, Bagre marinus (Ariidae) in a tropical coastal environment in the Gulf of Mexico. Ciclo reproductivo anual del. Taxonomic Notes: Bagre marinus is a species complex that includes two species, Bagre marinus sensu strictu and Bagre bahiensis (Betancur and Marceniuk.

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The gafftopsail catfish Bagre marinus is one of the species of most importance to fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly in the coastal region of Tabasco State, where it is captured abundantly almost all year round in shallow coastal zones. Although, there is neither ecological nor biological information about this species in the coastal zone of Tabasco State.

This study aims to describe the feeding habits of gafftopsail catfish. Seasonal changes in the diet and its relation with reproductive period will also be discussed. Analyzes of stomachs contents of individuals 97 females and 68 males for dry season, females and 38 males for rainy season and 83 females and 44 males for nortes season obtained from two commercial landings located in the Chiltepec municipality, Paraiso, Tabasco along one year May to April Brachyurans were the more important preys inside the annual diet of species, reached a maximum frequency of occurrence during dry season Few seasonal changes in diet of both sexes were observed, with a progressive increase of occurrence of fishes and diminution of stomatopods and penaeid shrimps.

No significant differences were finding in total diet between females and males. The variation of the proportion of fullness stomachs and fullness weight index along the year can be related with the reproductive behavior of species.

No se observaron diferencias significativas entre las dietas totales de hembras y machos. In the Gulf of Mexico, three species of this family are common: Along the southeast coastal zone of the Gulf of Mexico, gafftopsail catfish B. A low bqgre in landing volume was observed for this species in Tabasco State throughout the ‘swith an average volume of tons. The great abundance of these ariids in coastal marine ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico Sheridan et al. Despite the aforementioned aspects high economical and ecological importancethere is neither ecological nor biological information about mwrinus species in the coastal zone marinue Tabasco State, the present study being the first scientific report to deal with the subject.

Fishery area is a coastal zone in front of the Chiltepec Barrier Figure 1.

Gafftopsail Catfish (Bagre marinus) ·

The commonest catch method employed to capture this species was the bottom long line set at depths of 10 to 40m. Randomized mafinus of fishes was done. Each fish was measured standard and total length to the nearest mm, weighted total and somatic weight to the nearest g and sex was identified. Marius total number of individuals sampled wasdivided in: Standard length for females varied between and mm and for males between and mm.


The stomach contents were examined. Each item was identified to the lowest possible taxon, counted and weighed wet weight to the nearest 0.

For the quantitative analysis of diet items were grouped into higher level taxonomic categories and three descriptive parameters were used: The proportion of stomach fullness stomachs with food was karinus as a percentage.

Fullness weight index was expressed as a percentage, dividing the total wet weight of the food items by the somatic weight of the fish.

An arcsine transformation of the original data was applied Zar, The diet of the gafftopsail catfish consisted of 30 identified prey species. These species were included in five groups: The last group included several species that occurred at low densities and sparsely throughout nagre year; consequently this prey group was not included in the statistical comparisons.

Only two genus of prey were found during the three seasons in both females and males stomach contents; these were: Mainus sp and Callinectes sp, mostly S. The presence of other prey species was not constant throughout the year Table 1. The Kendall concordance coefficient shows that the three indices provide similar information about the diet of males and females during the dry and rainy season.

As it was considered that the three indices provide very similar information, the percentage of frequency occurrence was chosen for description and statistical comparisons of bage diet of each sex. In general, the brachyurans were the most important prey in the diet of both sexes in all seasons.

Gafftopsail catfish

In females its maximum frequency of occurrence In males the brachyurans reached their maximum frequency of occurrence In females the diminution of the frequency of occurrence of the stomatopoda group was notorious from the dry Despite these changes in individual prey groups, the results of the total diet comparison suggest that the diet of females of gafftopsail catfish does not change significantly in different seasons Table 1. In males a similar pattern was found, stomatopods presented a progressive diminution in occurrence, the principal variation was between the rainy Penaeid shrimps were only present in dry season.

No significant differences were found in total diet between females and males of gafftopsail catfish throughout the seasons. The proportion of stomach fullness showed a similar tendency in females and males.

The maximum values for females The minimum proportion of stomach fullness for females In the case of the fullness weight index, the maximum value for females 2.

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For males the maximum value for the fullness weight index 2. No jarinus differences between sexes and interaction between months and sex were detected Table 2. The high and constant presence of crustaceans, mainly brachyurans, throughout the seasons characterizes the diet of gafftopsail catfish. Presence of fishes was constant too, however with lesser importance. The situation marimus can be related to a constant availability marinuus prey, however, without quantitative data about prey abundance, the above assumption remains speculative.

On the other hand, the disappearance or decrease of prey in males in the rainy season and bqgre both sexes in the nortes season, is more related to a reduction in full stomachs number than to a real variation in diet. Relative lack of variation of diet in different seasons was observed in other species marins catfishes such as C.

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Differences in diet composition between males and females were not observed, but differences between sexes were clear when the percentage of fullness stomachs and the fullness weight index were analyzed.

Despite this decrease in fullness weight index, the number of stomachs with food were high. In males it could be observed that during the rainy season in September and October a decrease in the number of individuals captured and fullness stomachs occurred. A progressive increase in fullness weight index can be attributed to the recruitment of males that have already finished the period of oral incubation. The increment in the proportion of stomach fullness in both females and males nagre January probably indicates the end of the reproductive period.

Daniel Loebmann for their criticism of the manuscript and data analysis. Diego Santiago and Ocean. Dennis Helebrandt for revision the English manuscript. Additional comments and suggestions by two anonymous reviewers significantly improved the final version.

Los hábitos de alimentación del bagre Bagre marinus (Ariidae) en Costa Paraíso, Tabasco, México

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Ariidae along the south-east coast of South Africa. Experiments in ecology-Their logical design and interpretation using analysis of variance. Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Maribus. Ecology of three sea catfishes Ariidae in a tropical coastal ecosystem – Southern Gulf of Mexico.

Marine Ecology Progress Series 49, Prentice Hall International, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Abstract The gafftopsail catfish Bagre marinus is one of the species of most importance to fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly in the coastal region of Tabasco State, where it is captured abundantly almost all year round in shallow coastal zones.

Results The diet of the gafftopsail catfish consisted mxrinus 30 identified prey species.