Foraging and dietary strategies of two sublittoral cottids, Jordania zonope and Artedius harringtoni



The longfin sculpin, Jordania zonope Starks, 1895, and the scalyhead sculpin, Artedius harringtoni (Starks, 1896), arecommon subtidal cottids in the San Juan Archipelago, Washington, but little of their autecology has been investigated. Comparisons of distribution, microhabitat density, foraging behaviour and diet were conducted for the two species. Even though the two species occurred close together, microhabitat use differed between them, as did foraging strategies. Jordania zonope had a broader foraging range and tended to take bites out of prey items, whereas A. harringtoni had a more limited foraging range and tended to swallow prey whole. Partitioning of spatial and nutritional resources as well as morphological differences supported the hypothesis that J. zonope and A. harringtoni minimize interspecific competition in spite of microhabitat overlap and often side-by-side feeding.