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Feeding ecology of the crab Munida subrugosa (Decapoda: Anomura: Galatheidae) in the Beagle Channel, Argentina

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Citation:
Romero, M. C. , Lovrich, G. A. , Tapella, F. and Thatje, S. (2004): Feeding ecology of the crab Munida subrugosa (Decapoda: Anomura: Galatheidae) in the Beagle Channel, Argentina , Journal of the marine biological association of the united kingdom:, 84 , pp. 359-365 .
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Abstract:

Munida subrugosa is the most abundant galatheid crab species in the Beagle Channel (55°S 68°W) off Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Samples of crabs and the epibenthic community were taken on a monthly basis at two different depth strata (<40m and >70m), by means of epibenthic trawling from 1998 to 1999. Stomach contents from 1582 crabs were analysed, out of which only 2% had empty stomachs. The quantity of food in the stomach contents was clearly seasonal and similar at both depths. The organic matter varied throughout the year and between both depths, being significantly higher in summer/spring than in autumn/winter. Munida subrugosa shows two different and simultaneous feeding habits: (1) as a predator M. subrugosa feeds on crustaceans, algae, and polychaetes; and (2) as a deposit feeder M. subrugosa consumes particulate organic matter and organisms associated with the superficial layer of of the sediment. The composition of the diet of Munida subrugosa was similar for both years, and independent of depth, sex or season. Munida subrugosa selected crustaceans only in autumn and winter, whereas most food items were found according to their availability in the habitat.

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