oa African Zoology - Predation and prey selectivity by Argyrosomus hololepidotus (Osteichthyes: Sciaenidae) in south-eastern Cape waters of South Africa

Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



Argyrosomus hololepidotus (kob) is a top predator in the shallow marine environment of the south-eastern Cape. There is considerable change in prey taken over the size range of predators examined (256 - 1701 mm). Young A. hololepidotus are planktivorous taking swarming mysids, but as they grow they become piscivorous, feeding on both pelagic and demersal prey associated with soft sediments. The pelagic cephalopod Loligo reynaudi is also taken by large specimens. Prey selection varies with locality and time of year. A field experiment in which the prey were compared with fish caught in a small-mesh net revealed a preference for some slow-moving demersal species. The length distributions of dominant prey species are given and these clearly show that larger prey are preferred by larger predators.

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