Alternate Title

Trophic Relationships of Demersal Fishes in the Shrimping Zone Off Alvarado Lagoon, Veracruz, Mexico

Document Type



The diet of demersal piscivorous fishes captured as bycatch of the commercial shrimping fleet off the Alvarado lagoonal system, Veracruz, Mexico, was studied. Nine collections distributed throughout the nortes (windy), wet, and dry seasons were made from November 1993 to January 1995. Sampling yielded a total of 646 fishes representing 10 families and 14 species, of which 44.9% had empty digestive tracts and were excluded from analysis. Trichiurus lepturus and Synodus foetens were the most abundant demersal predators in the collections. Differences in food consumption of the 7 most abundant predators were observed among the 3 seasons, with the greatest variety of prey (20 species) taken during the nortes season and the lowest variety (9 species) during the dry season. Five distinct trophic guilds were determined based on an index of relative importance of prey. Prey type and location of prey within the water column helped determine guild classification. The occurrence of different trophic guilds may allow for decreased competition for food resources on the continental shelf off Alvarado, Mexico.

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