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Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2011, Vol 11, Num, 1     (Pages: 45-54)

Feeding Habits of the Scalloped Spiny Lobstrer, Panulirus homarus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Decapoda: Palinuridae) from the South East Coast of Iran

Nassrin Mashaii 1 ,Farhad Rajabipour 1 ,Arash Shakouri 2

1 Iranian Fisheries Research Organization, Brackish Water Fisheries Research Station, Bafq, Po.Box 89715/1123, Yazd, Iran
2 Chabahar University of Maritime, Dept. of Marine Biology, Daneshgah Blvd., Chabahar, Iran
DOI : 10.4194/trjfas.2011.0107 Viewed : 4407 - Downloaded : 4129 Certain ecological aspects of the feeding habits of 260 scalloped lobsters Panulirus homarus collected during monthly dives off the southeast coast of Iran were considered. Parameters under consideration included: water temperature, salinity, turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen and macrobenthose of the lobsters habitat. The mean number of empty stomachs varied from 25% to 62%. Statistical analysis revealed no monthly or seasonal significant difference in the frequency of non-empty stomachs (P>0.05). 1 to 6 prey items were distinguishable in each non-empty stomach. Monthly mean of point counts of prey obtained was from 8.76±4.18 to 154.95±73.62, without any significant difference by Tukeys’ HSD test. Bivalves often had the maximum amounts of Fi and Pi amongst different prey items. Pearson χ2 test did not show any significant difference between frequency of occurrence of each prey item with different length classes, sex, moulting condition and presence of eggs in females (P>0.05). Ivlev electivity index of crabs, gastropods and bivalves was close to 1 and sloped to -1 for polychaetes and echinoderms. This index revealed crabs, bivalves and gastropods were more important in the diet than sediment throughout the year. Frequencies of food occurrence suggest bivalves as the main food; crabs, gastropods, barnacles and algae as secondary food and polychaetes, fish, echinoderms and Ascidiacea as incidental food for P. homarus in the area. Spearmans’ correlation coefficients of stomach fullness against different length classes, sexes, moulting and ovigerous females were not significantly different (P>0.05). There was only a significant Pearsons' correlation between the number of point for bivalves in the stomach against body weight (P<0.05). Keywords : Lobster, Panulirus homarus, feeding ecology, Oman Sea, Iran