Food items of the grey mullet Mugil cephalus in the Banc d’Arguin area (Mauritania)
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The stomach and gut content of 22 Mugil cephalus from the Banc d’Arguin shallows (Mauritanian coast, West Africa) is examined. Quartz grains are the predominant material found in the stomach together with small portions of benthic diatoms and ‘flakes’, aggregates of fine-grained inorganic and organic particles. As the composition of this material is modified by a sorting procedure during feeding it is difficult to conclude, whether seagrass stands (muddy and mixed sediments with sand fraction) or sandy flats are preferred as feeding habitats. The animals studied did not or not relevantly utilize the non-diatom microphytes, though the environment of the Banc d’Arguin is rich in microbial mats (cyanobacteria), Vaucheria beds and epiphytic vegetation of seagrass leaves.
Key wordsMugil cephalus sediment feeding benthic diatoms organic detritus carbon content
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