Size, weight, and diet of the invasive lionfish Pterois volitans (Linnaeus, 1758) on the southern coast of Veracruz, Gulf of Mexico

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Rosalía Aguilar-Medrano
Ma. Eugenia Vega-Cendejas


The invasion of the Indo-Pacific lionfish Pterois volitans has produced detrimental impacts on the regional biodiversity and fisheries of invaded ranges. To understand the effect this lionfish may have on the native fish communities, it is necessary to understand its feeding habits. The objectives of this study were to report new distribution records of P. volitans along the southern coast of Veracruz (México), to document the feeding habits of the collected specimens, and to determine if there was a relationship between the diet, size, and weight of those specimens. The density of P. volitans in our study area was low. Diet composition for this species consisted of bony fishes (95.40%), crustaceans (4.20%), and mollusks (0.36%). Lionfish size and weight were positively correlated. We did not find statistical differences between the diet and the size/weight groupings; however, the smaller specimens seemingly had a more varied diet than the larger specimens.


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