Alternate Title

Fatty Acid Pattern Differences Among Individuals of Two Estuarine Fishes (Leiostomus xanthurus and Mugil cephalus)

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Ten individual fish of two estuarine species, spot (Leiostomus xanthurus) and striped mullet (Mugil cephalus), were analyzed for fatty acids. Fish of similar size were obtained from a single collection to minimize variability due to age, size, location and season. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) of each fatty acid provided statistically similar groups for each acid that existed among individual fish. Fatty acids in the striped mullet provided a greater number of statistically similar groups than those in spot, indicating greater variability among individual striped mullet, which probably reflected a greater diversity in the feeding regime for this species. ANOVA results within classes of fatty acids of both species indicated greater diversity in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated than saturated fatty acids. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) showed more individual variability in both species than did docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Dietary lipids and metabolic needs of the two species are distinct and may be the key factors in explaining individual differences observed in these two fish species.

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