Food And Size Composition of Epinephelus Chlorostigma (Valenciennes,1828)Plsces: Serranidae In Some Coastal Areas of the Ethiopian Redsea With Notes on the Taxonomy and Distri Bution Of the Family

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Addis Ababa University


Eight fishing trips l<lere made from June, 1')85 to April, 1987 and fishes were caught using hook and line. Out of the 392 stomachs of EpinepheZus cMol'ostigma, (Valenciennes, 1828) examined for food, 197 (50.26%) of them Herc found empty. The food organisms found in the stomach were mainly fish of the family Atherinidae and Pomacentridae. Crustaceans and Gastropods \'lere also important as secondary foods especially in smaller size groups. Eggs vlere also found in a considerable number of stomachs. There appeared to be no difference in the quality as Hell as quantity of the food of E. chZorostigma among the different sampling sites. This can be attributed to the absence of big differences in physical, chemical and biological factors among the sites. On the other hand high percentages of empty stomachs during the l<linter months Vlere accounted to' the relatively bad Vleather condition prevailing during this period. There Vias an obvious relation between the size of the species concerned and the type of prey consumed, the larger size groups shoViing preference to fishes and the smaller to crustaceans and gastropods. The total lengths of E. chZorostigma ranged from 20 to 52 cm Vlith a mean length of 35.7cm. The size distribution Has found to be affected by depth since larger fishes of the species tend to inhabit ~reater depths than their younger counterparts. Length--Height re.lutionship Has established for E. chloyostigma as \-1=0. 051L 2 .593 Hi th a regress ion coefficient, r= 0.906. A rapid linear increment of length Hith Height Has observed upto a certain size (36cm) and heyond that, gain in Height tends to replace gain in length. Notes on the taxonomic characters and distribution of eight species of Serranidae Vlere e:iven. Out of the observed areas, most species Here found on the eastern side of Hermil Island