• continental slope;
  • daily ration;
  • diel vertical migration;
  • diet;
  • East China Sea;
  • Myctophidae

The feeding ecology of two dominant lanternfishes Diaphus garmani and Diaphus chrysorhynchus was studied in the continental slope region of the East China Sea, off western Kyushu (31–33° N; 128–130° E). Stomach contents of D. garmani were composed mainly of crustacean zooplankton, such as copepods, euphausiids, decapod larvae and amphipods, and also of appendicularians. Stomach contents of D. chrysorhynchus were composed mainly of crustacean zooplankton, cephalopods and fishes. Diel changes in stomach fullness indicated that D. garmani fed more actively at night than in the day. On the other hand, although feeding activity of D. chrysorhynchus did not change drastically between day and night, it tended to feed on large prey items in the benthopelagic zone during the day and on zooplankton in the epipelagic zone at night. Daily rations of food were estimated to be 2·54% of body dry mass for D. garmani, and 2·38% of body dry mass for D. chrysorhynchus.