Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Original Article

Seasonal variation on diet of juvenile Elops saurus Linnaeus, 1766 (Ladyfish) in the Parnaiba River Delta

Variação sazonal na dieta dos jovens de Elops saurus Linnaeus, 1766 (Ubarana) no Delta do Rio Parnaíba

Tatiane Araujo Santos; Thamires Souza Gonçalves; Patricia Silva do Nascimento; Cézar Augusto Freire Fernandes; Francisca Edna de Andrade Cunha

Downloads: 0
Views: 918


Abstract: : Aim: Identify seasonal variations in the diet of juvenile living in the estuary of the Parnaíba River Delta.

Methods: Food items were identified through analysis of stomach contents, and later submitted to analysis by regular methods for Frequency of Occurrence (FO), Frequency Numerical (FN), Gravimetric Frequency (FW) and Relative Importance Index (IRI).

Results: Juvenile diet of Elops saurus that inhabit the lagoons in the Parnaíba delta was composed in order decreasing of importance by Osteichthyes (Teleostei), Insecta and Crustacea in addition to Polychaeta and Nematoda. It was also observed a high frequency of occurrence of fragments of plastics in the diet. In the rainy season, 17 items were recorded in the diet, whereas in the dry season only 7 items were present. Relative Importance Index showed high presence of the Teleostei fish (69.93%) on diet of E. saurus during the rainy season, whereas during the dry period the insects of the families Corixidae (43.25%) and Dysticidae (39.16%).

Conclusions: With the study it was possible to identify that juvenile are piscivorous in the rainy season when there is a higher availability of prey in the environment and insectivores in the dry season when it reduces the supply of food, indicating feeding flexibility to environmental alterations.


feeding, carnivory, feeding flexibility, Elops saurus


Resumo: : Objetivo: Identificar variações sazonais na dieta de jovens que vivem no estuário do Delta do Rio Parnaíba.

Métodos: Os itens alimentares foram identificados através da análise do conteúdo estomacal, e depois submetidos à análise pelos métodos Frequência de Ocorrência (FO), Frequência Numérica (FN), Frequência gravimétrica (FW) e Índice de Importância Relativa (IRI).

Resultados: A dieta dos jovens de Elops saurus que habitam as lagoas no delta do Parnaíba foi composta em ordem decrescente de importância por Osteichthyes (Teleostei), Insecta e Crustacea, além de Polychaeta e Nematoda. Também foi registrada elevada frequência de ocorrência de fragmentos de plásticos na dieta. Na estação chuvosa, 17 itens foram registrados na dieta, enquanto que na estação seca apenas 7 itens estavam presentes. O Índice de Importância Relativa evidenciou a importância dos peixes Teleostei (69,93%) na dieta de E. saurus na estação chuvosa, enquanto que, no período Seco destacaram-se os insetos das Famílias Corixidae (43,25%) e Dysticidae (39,16%).

Conclusões: Com o estudo foi possível identificar que os jovens são carnívoros, especificamente, piscívoros na estação chuvosa quando ocorre maior disponibilidade de presas no ambiente e insetívoros na estação seca, quando reduz a oferta de alimento, evidenciando uma flexibilidade alimentar frente às alterações ambientais.


alimentação, carnivoria, flexibilidade alimentar, Elops saurus


ADAMS, A.J., HORODYSKY, A.Z., MCBRIDE, R.S., GUINDON, K., SHENKER, J., MACDONALD, T.C., HARWELL, H.D., WARD, R. and CARPENTER, K. Global conservation status and research needs for tarpons (Megalopidae), ladyfishes (Elopidae) and bonefishes (Albulidae). Fish and Fisheries, 2013, 8(2), 1-32.

BARLETTA, M. and LIMA, A.R.A. Systematic review of fish ecology and anthropogenic impacts in South American estuaries: setting priorities for ecosystem conservation. Frontiers in Marine Science, 2019, 6, 237.

BARLETTA, M., LIMA, A.R.A., DANTAS, D.V., OLIVEIRA, I.M., NETO, J.R., FERNANDES, C.A.F., FARIAS, E.G.G., FILHO, J.L.R. and COSTA, M.F. How can accurate landing stats help in designing better fisheries and environmental management for western atlantic estuaries? In: C.W. FINKL and C. MAKOWSKI, eds. Coastal wetlands: alteration and remediation. Cham: Springer; 2017, pp. 631-703.

BERNARDO, L.P., RIBEIRO, J.R.I., STENERT, C. and MALTCHIK, L. Uma nova espécie de Sigara Fabricius (Hemiptera, Heteroptera, Corixidae) e redescrição das espécies do gênero com registro no Estado do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia, 2012, 56(2), 159-182.

BITTENCOURT, V.F.N. 2009 Proteção a pesca do Robalo (Centropomus parallelus) na Foz do Rio Mambucada, Angra dos Reis-RJ. Revista Educação Ambiental, 2009, BE-597(2), 38-43.

BROWNE, M.A., DISSANAYAKE, A., GALLOWAY, T.S., LOWE, D.M. and THOMPSON, R.C. Ingested microscopic plastic translocates to the circulatory system of the mussel, Mytilus edulis(L). Environmental Science & Technology, 2008, 42(13), 5026-5031. PMid:18678044.

CERVIGÓN, F.R., CIPRIANI, W.F., GARIBALDI, L., HENDRICKX, M., LEMUS, A.J., MÁRQUEZ, R., POUTIERS, J.M., ROBAINA, G. and RODRIGUEZ, B. Fichas FAO de identificación de especies para los fines de la pesca: guía de campo de las especies comerciales marinas y de aquas salobres de la costa septentrional de Sur América. Rome: FAO, 1992, 513 p.

CUNHA, F.E.A. Feed and trophic morpholgy of yellow Hake Cynoscion acoupa (Lacèpede, 1801) in the Northeast Brazil. Canadian Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences, 2017, 11, 4079-4085.

DANTAS, D.V., BARLETTA, M. and COSTA, M.F. Feeding ecology and seasonal diet overlap between Stellifer brasiliensis and Stellifer stellifer in a tropical estuarine ecocline. Journal of Fish Biology, 2015, 86(2), 707.

FARIAS, A.C.S., FONTELES FILHO, A.A., CORRÊA IVO, C.F., FERNANDES, C.A.F. and CUNHA, F.E.A. Cadeia produtiva da pesca no interior do Delta do Parnaíba e área marinha adjacente. Fortaleza: RDS, 2015, 240 p.

FROESE, R. and PAULY, D., eds. FishBase [online]. 2018 [viewed 19 June 2018]. Available from: https://

GUZZI, A. Biodiversidade do Delta do Parnaíba: litoral piauiense. Parnaíba: EDUFPIP, 2012, 466 p.

HIATT, R.W. Food-chains and the food cycle in Hawaiian fish ponds. Part I: the food and feeding habits of mullet (Mugil cephalus), milkfish (Chanos chanos), and the ten-pounder (Elops machnata). Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 1947, 74(1), 250-261.[250:FATFCI]2.0.CO;2.

HILDEBRAND, S.F. Family Elopidae: fishes of the Western North Atlantic: part three. New Haven: Sears Foundation for Marine Research, Yale University, 1963, pp. 111-131.

HYNES, H.B.N. The food of fresh-water sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus and Pygosteus pungitius), with a review of methods used in studies of the food of fishes. Journal of Animal Ecology, 1950, 19(1), 36-58.

HYSLOP, E.J. Stomach contents analysis: a review of methods and their application. Journal of Fish Biology, 1980, 17(4), 411-429.

INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE METEOROLOGIA – INMET [online]. Brasília, 2018 [viewed 20 Mar. 2018]. Available from:

JONES, P.W., MARTIN, F.D. and HARDY JUNIOR, J.D. Development of fishes of the Mid-Atlantic Bight: an atlas of eggs, larval and juvenile stages. Washington: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1978. vol. 1. Acipenseridae through Ictaluridae.

MCBRIDE, R.S., MCDONALD, T.C., MATHESON, R.E., RYDENE, D.A. and HOOD, P.B. Nursery habitats for ladyfish, Elops saurus, along salinity gradients in two Florida estuaries. Fishery Bulletim, 2001, 99, 443-458.

ODUM, W.E. and HEALD, E.J. Trophic analyses of an estuarine mangrove community. Bulletin of Marine Science, 1972, 22(3), 671-738.

PERET, A.M. Dinâmica da alimentação de peixes piscívoros da represa de Três Marias (MG) [Dissertação de Mestrado em Ecologia e Recursos Naturais]. São Carlos: Universidade Federal de São Carlos, 2004.

PINKAS, L., OLIPHANT, M.S. and IVERSON, I.L.K. Food habits of albacore, bluefin tuna, and bonito in California waters. Sacramento: Department of and Game, 1971. Fish Bulletin, no. 152.

RYAN, P.G., MOORE, C.J., VAN FRANEKER, J.A. and MOLONEY, C.L. Monitoring the abundance of plastic debris in the marine environment. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 2009, 364(1526), 1999-2012. PMid:19528052.

SANTOS-MARTINEZ, A. and ARBOLEDA, S. Aspectos biológicos y ecológicos del macabí Elops saurus Linnaeus (Pisces: Elopidae) en la Cienaga Grande de Santa Marta y costa adyacente, Caribe Colombiano. Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas de Punta de Betín, 1993, 22(1), 77-96.

SEKAVEC, G.B. Gross morphology of the digestive tract of the ladyfish, Elops saurus. Chesapeake Science, 1971, 12(4), 275-276.

SMITH, D.G. Elopidae: ladyfishes, tenpounders. In: K.E. CARPENTER and V.H. NIEM, eds. FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes: the living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations, 1997, pp. 1619-1620. vol. 3. Batoid fishes, chimaeras and bony fishes. Part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae).

THOMPSON, B.A. and DEEGAN, L.A. Distribution of ladyfish (Elops saurus) and bonefish (Albula vulpes) leptocephali in Louisiana. Bulletin of Marine Science, 1982, 32(4), 936-939.

THOMPSON, R.C., OLSEN, Y., MITCHELL, R.P., DAVIS, A., ROWLAND, S.J., JOHN, A.W.G., MCGONIGLE, D. and RUSSELL, A.E. Lost at sea: where is all the plastic? Science, 2004, 304(5672), 838-838. PMid:15131299.

WALLACE, J.B. and MERRITT, R.W. Filter-feeding ecology of aquatic insects. Annual Review of Entomology, 1980, 25(1), 103-132.

ZALE, A.V. and MERRIFIELD, S.G. Species profiles: life histories and environmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (South Florida), Ladyfish and Tarpon. US Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report, 1989, 82, 11-104.

ZAVALA-CAMIN, L.A. Introdução aos estudos sobre alimentação natural em peixes. Maringá: EDUEM, 1996, 129 p.

Submitted date:

Accepted date:

Publication date:

5f285e9a0e8825f1100e4938 alb Articles
Links & Downloads

Acta Limnol. Bras. (Online)

Share this page
Page Sections