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Feeding habits of ocellate spot skate, Okamejei kenojei (Müller & Henle, 1841), in coastal waters of Taean, Korea


Author’s address: Joo Myun Park, Division of Marine Technology, Chonnam National University, San 96-1 Doondeok-dong, Yeosu 550-749, Korea.


The feeding habits of Okamejei kenojei were studied using 592 specimens collected in the coastal waters of Taean, Korea from April 2008 to March 2009. O. kenojei is a bottom-feeding carnivore that consumes mainly shrimp, fishes, and crabs. Its diet also includes small quantities of amphipods, mysids, cephalopods, euphausiids, copepods, isopods, and polychaetes. The total length (TL) of individuals in this study ranged from 8.2 to 49.0 cm. Cluster analysis based on %IRI (index of relative importance) identified three size classes. Group A (< 20 cm TL) ate primarily caridean shrimp and amphipods; group B (20–30 cm TL) ate exclusively shrimp; and group C (> 30 cm TL) ate penaeoidean shrimp, fishes, and crabs. O. kenojei showed ontogenetic changes in feeding habits. Although shrimps were the primary food consumed by all size groups, the proportion of shrimp in the total diet decreased and the consumption of fishes and crabs gradually increased with the body size of O. kenojei. Size of the prey organisms also increased. Smaller individuals fed mainly on small prey, such as amphipods, mysids, and small shrimp, whereas larger individuals preferred larger prey, such as larger shrimp, fishes, and crabs. The size-related diet breadth and the percentage of empty stomachs were significant; the diet breadth gradually increased with body size, whereas the percentage of empty stomachs decreased. Seasonal changes in the O. kenojei diet were not significant, but shrimp constituted 97.3% of the summer diet by %IRI. Seasonal changes in diet breadth and the percentage of empty stomachs were not significant.