Diet of the rasptail skate, Rostroraja velezi (Rajiformes: Rajidae), off Piura, Peru

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Pamela Molina-Salgado
Joanna Alfaro-Shigueto
Adriana González-Pestana

Abstract

Batoids are among the least studied group of vertebrates and one of the most vulnerable to fishing. The rasptail skate, Rostroraja velezi, is a bycatch species in northern Peru for which there are no studies on its diet. This research aims to document the diet of R. velezi on the northern Peruvian coast and to determine if there are sex-based differences in the diet. A total of 74 R. velezi stomachs were collected, 59 of which had stomach contents. The cumulative prey curve showed reliability in the number of samples collected. According to the prey-specific index of relative importance, diet was dominated by Acanthephyra sp. (31%), other unidentified Caridea (15%), and unidentified teleosts (17%). A low significant difference in diet between sexes was found (R = 0.21, P < 0.01). The trophic position of R. velezi was 3.9 ± 0.7. This species displays bentopelagic feeding behavior and it is a secondary predator in northern Peru.

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