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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 864241, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/864241
Research Article

Feeding Habits and Trophic Level of the Panama Grunt Pomadasys panamensis, an Important Bycatch Species from the Shrimp Trawl Fishery in the Gulf of California

1Posgrado en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Circuito Exterior s/n Ciudad Universitaria, 04510 México, DF, Mexico
2Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Avenida Joel Montes Camarena s/n, 82040 Mazatlán, SIN, Mexico
3Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, P.O. Box 999, Richland, WA 99352, USA
4Instituto Nacional de Pesca, Centro Regional de Investigación Pesquera Mazatlán, Avenida Sábalo-Cerritos s/n, 82100 Mazatlán, SIN, Mexico

Received 26 May 2014; Accepted 23 July 2014; Published 14 October 2014

Academic Editor: Joao P. Barreiros

Copyright © 2014 José A. Rodríguez-Preciado et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The Panama grunt is an abundant and commercially important species in the southeastern Gulf of California, but the research undertaken on this species is scarce despite its ecological and economic importance. We studied the feeding habits of Panama grunt through stomach content analyses as a first step towards understanding the biology of this species in the study area. Our results indicate that the Panama grunt is a benthic predator throughout its life cycle and feeds mainly on infaunal crustaceans. Diet differences among grunt were not found according to size, diet, or season. Shannon diversity index results indicate that Panama grunt has a limited trophic niche breadth with a diet dominated by a limited number of taxa as crustaceans. The estimated trophic level of this species is 3.59. Overall, the Panama grunt is a carnivorous fish occupying the intermediate levels of the trophic pyramid.