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Keywords:

  • Mancopsetta maculata maculata;
  • Mancopsetta milfordi;
  • distribution;
  • south-west Atlantic;
  • size;
  • diet

Two species of the family Bothidae (lefteye flounders), Mancopsetta maculata metadata and M. milfordi occur in the south-west Atlantic but are caught rarely by commercial bottom trawlers. Little is therefore known about their general biology from this area. A total of 251 M. maculata and 276 M. milfordi were sampled during deep-water exploratory fishing conducted in November 1994 within the Falkland Islands Interim and Outer Conservation Zones, at depths of 400-1000 m, using standard commercial bottom trawling gear. The two species were found to have similar geographical distributions between 48.30′-53.30'S and 55°-62° W and were often obtained at the same stations in depths of 400-900 m on the continental slope. Mancopsetta maculata maculata showed a uni-modal cohort structure with a modal length at the 29-cm total length size-class. Males of M. m. maculata outnumbered females in a ratio of 3.5 : 1. Mancopsetta milfordi showed a tri-modal length distribution, the main mode at the 37-cm total length size-class, with females outnumbering males in a ratio of 1.1 : 1. Length-weight relationships and length-at-age information are presented for the two species. Diet was determined from the analysis of stomach contents and, although the major prey type for both species consisted of crustaceans, the morid fish Austrophycis marginata also formed an important part of the diet of M. milfordi. Key words: Mancopsetta maculata maculata; Mancopsetta milfordi; distribution; south-west Atlantic; size; diet.