Diel feeding of the transparent goby Aphia minuta (Pisces, Gobiidae) in the Northwestern Adriatic Sea in spring time



The present study provides the first estimate of the daily ration for a goby species in the Mediterranean Sea, using a new approach to determine the mass of fish stomach contents through the sum of individual prey dry mass derived indirectly from prey size. Diel feeding activity and daily ration of the pelagic goby Aphia minuta were studied under natural conditions in the coastal waters off Comacchio (Northwestern Adriatic Sea) during the spring season. A total of 318 individuals of A. minuta, collected by 14 trawls carried out on 4 consecutive days, was examined for gut contents. The diel pattern of the vacuity index and the stomach fullness index indicated that A. minuta has nocturnal feeding behaviour. The daily ration, computed over a period of 16 h, was equivalent to 2.23% wet body mass.