• Santiago Hamilton Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco -  UFRPE, Departamento de Pesca e Aquicultura http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1886-1074
  • Ronaldo Barradas Peregrino Júnior Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco -  UFRPE, Departamento de Pesca e Aquicultura, http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4121-9562
  • Ernesto Carvalho Domingues Universidade Federal de Sergipe -  UFS, Departamento de Engenharia de Pesca
  • Fábio Hissa Vieira Hazin Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco -  UFRPE, Departamento de Pesca e Aquicultura,
  • Teodoro Vaske Júnior Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho -  UNESP http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1573-9185
  • William Severi Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco -  UFRPE, Departamento de Pesca e Aquicultura, http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8873-5965




Rachycentridae, feeding strategy, diet composition, stomach contents, carnivorous predator


The feeding habits of cobia, Rachycentron canadum, was described along the coast of Pernambuco State, northeastern Brazil. One hundred ten specimens were caught between February 2004 and August 2006 with fork length ranging from 40.0 to 137.0 cm (mean and standard deviation: 85.8 ± 18.0 cm) and total weight between 0.4 and 29.8 kg (7.5 ± 4.4 kg). The importance of each food item in the diet was evaluated using the index of relative importance (IRI). Among the one hundred ten stomachs analyzed (52 females and 58 males), 92 (83.6%) had food items, while 18 (16.4%) were empty. Bony fish were the main food item (IRI = 98.7%), being squirrelfish (Holocentrus adscensionis) and porcupine fish (Diodon sp.) the most frequent prey items (30.7% and 8.2%, respectively). Elasmobranchs, crustaceans and cephalopods were also present in small proportions (IRI < 1% for each). No significant differences in diet were found between sexes or size classes (fork length: < or â"°¥ 69.8 cm; estimated L50 for the species). The present data demonstrate that cobia is a carnivorous predator along the coast of Pernambuco State, with a preference for demersal bony fish, independently of the size and sex of the individuals analyzed.


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