Abstract

Pomadasys corvinaeformis inhabits sandy and rocky bottoms in coastal waters, and is common in trawl samples taken from beaches. The species is very abundant on the Brazilian coast, and is of high economic and ecological importance. This study examined the spatio-temporal distribution, population biology and diet of P. corvinaeformis in Southeastern Brazil. Samples were taken by trawling monthly from August 2003 to October 2004, in two previously selected areas. The Northern area is more exposed to wave activity and is influenced by a river, functioning as a small estuary. In contrast, the Southern area is relatively sheltered from wave energy and influenced to a lesser degree by smaller rivers. The length of the specimens was measured, and the sex and gonadal stage were macroscopically identified. The abundance of this species was compared between areas and among months. The diet was analyzed seasonally by the frequency of occurrence, the percent volume, and the index of alimentary importance. P. corvinaeformis occurred in unequal proportions in the two study areas (86% in the Northern area and 14% in the Southern area) and was found most abundant in May 2004, followed by June 2004. The proportion of mature and in-maturation individuals increased gradually from autumn to summer. Nine major groups of food items were recorded in the diet of P. corvinaeformis, and crustaceans comprised five of the categories: unidentified crustacean fragments, zoea larvae, amphipods, copepods and shrimps. In both, fish stomach and intestine, crustacean fragments were the most frequent item. The second most frequent items were shrimp in the stomach, and amphipods in the intestine (mainly represented by their tubes). These results demonstrate that P. corvinaeformis can be considered a carnivore, with a preference on benthic organisms.
Keywords: corcoroca, feeding, pomadasys corvinaeformis, roughneck grunt, spatio temporal distribution, são paulo