The food habits of four species of triakid sharks, Triakis scyllium, Hemitriakis japanica, Mustelus griseus and Mustelus manazo, in the central Seto Inland Sea, Japan


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ABSTRACT:  The food habits of 595 houndsharks of four species, Triakis scyllium (n = 179, 42–148 cm total in length), Hemitriakis japanica (n = 57, 42–102 cm), Mustelus griseus (n = 193, 39–100 cm), and Mustelus manazo (n = 166, 43–120 cm), found in the central Seto Inland Sea, Japan, from March 1997 to October 1999 and May 2000 to July 2002, were studied. T. scyllium changed their main food items from shrimps to echiuran worms then to cephalopods with their growth. Comparing food habits by the value of similarity (maximum = 1), the small-sized T. scyllium had a low value (0.17) compared to larger sharks. T. scyllium gradually increased the diversity of food until it reached 700 mm long in total length, however, after that it decreased. H. japanica appeared mainly in summer and autumn and ate cephalopods and fishes. M. griseus preyed on various crustaceans and decreased the diversity of food with growth. M. manazo preferred crustaceans and polychaetes. There was no certain tendency in the diversity of the food habit for M. manazo.