Feeding Ecology of the Franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei) In Marine And Estuarine Waters Of Argentina

Rodríguez, D. and Rivero, L. and Bastida, R. (2002) Feeding Ecology of the Franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei) In Marine And Estuarine Waters Of Argentina. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals, 1(1), pp. 77-94.

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Abstract

Stomach contents of 110 franciscanas (Pontoporia blainvillei), from northern Argentina were analysed in order to improve our knowledge about the feeding habits of this species and to better characterise the lactation period. The samples included calves, juveniles and adults of both sexes. Evidence of predation by franciscanas is seen at a very young age (2.5-3 months), with a transition diet composed by both milk and solid food, mainly represented by crustaceans. Weaning seems to begin by April, when franciscanas are about 6-7 months old. Franciscanas inhabiting two different habitats were analysed in this study: a brackish water estuary and an adjacent marine coastal system. The diet of Pontoporia blainvillei in northern Argentina was composed by a total of 26 prey species: 20 teleosts, 4 crustaceans and 2 cephalopods. Based on the Index of Relative Importance (IRI) the main prey species were Cynoscion guatucupa, Micropogonias furnieri, Loligo sanpaulensis and Urophycis brasiliensis. Estuarine franciscanas preyed mainly on Micropogonias furnieri (dominant species), Cynoscion guatucupa, Odonthestes argentinensis and Macrodon ancylodon, while dolphins from marine areas preyed mainly on Cynoscion guatucupa (dominant species), Loligo sanpaulensis and Urophycis brasiliensis. Our results confirm that franciscanas prey mainly on juvenile fish (< 8cm) and small loliginid squids, in close agreement with previous results obtained in southern Brazil and Uruguay. Qualitative and quantitative differences observed in the diet of dolphins from each habitat emphasise the need to discriminate between samples from different habitats and environmental parameters. SPANISH: Se analizaron 110 contenidos estomacales de franciscanas (Pontoporia blainvillei) provenientes de la costa norte de Argentina, para extender en conocimiento sobre su dieta y caracterizar la lactancia. Las muestras incluyeron cachorros, juveniles y adultos de ambos sexos. Las primeras etapas de predación se inician a muy temprana edad (2,5-3 meses), presentando una dieta de transición compuesta tanto por leche como por presas sólidas, principalmente crustáceos; el destete se iniciaría a partir de abril, a una edad estimada entre 6 y 7 meses. Las franciscanas estudiadas provienen de dos habitats diferentes: un área estuarial de baja salinidad y la region marina adyacente. La dieta de Pontoporia blainvillei de Argentina estuvo compuesta por un total de 26 especies: 20 teleósteos, 4 crustáceos y 2 cefalópodos. Basados en el Indice de Importancia Relativa (IIR), las presas más importantes fueron Cynoscion guatucupa, Micropogonias furnieri, Loligo sanpaulensis y Urophycis brasiliensis. Las franciscanas provenientes del área estuarial predaron principalmente sobre Micropogonias furnieri (especie dominante), Cynoscion guatucupa, Odonthestes argentinensis y Macrodon ancylodon, mientras que los delfines marinos predaron sobre Cynoscion guatucupa (especie dominante), Loligo sanpaulensis y Urophycis brasiliensis. Nuestros resultados confirman que la franciscana preda sobre peces juveniles (< 8cm) y pequeños calamares Loliginidae, coincidiendo con resultados previos obtenidos en el sur del Brasil y Uruguay. Las diferencias cualitativas y cuantitativas observadas en la dieta de cada uno de las áreas analizadas, nos sugieren que los futuros estudios sobre ecología trófica de la franciscana deberían discriminarse de acuerdo al origen de los ejemplares y a la tipificación del ambiente.

Item Type: Article
Title: Feeding Ecology of the Franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei) In Marine And Estuarine Waters Of Argentina
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Rodríguez, D.dhrodri@mdp.edu.ar
Rivero, L.
Bastida, R.
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals
Volume: 1
Number: 1
Page Range: pp. 77-94
Date: 2002
ISSN: 1676-7497
Issuing Agency: Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata
Additional Information: Special Issue No. 1, 2002
Subjects: Aquaculture
Biology
Ecology
Environment
Oceanography
Item ID: 10038
Depositing User: Michelle Leonard
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2012 17:02
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2014 13:56
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/10038

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