Observations on the diet of adult Oblada melanura (Sparidae) in the Strait of Sicily (central Mediterranean)
The diet of adult saddled seabream Oblada melanura, collected mainly from artificial reefs off Sciacca (Strait of Sicily), was studied. A total of 60 specimens were caught by bottom longline and gillnet from March to October 2007 and their stomachs preserved. Food items were identified, counted and weighed. Frequency of occurrence (%F), abundance (%N) and weight (%W) percentages were used to calculate the index of relative importance (IRI) for each prey category. The analysis of prey items led to the identification of 72 taxa, belonging to 23 main categories, with teleosts emerging as the dominant group, followed by polychaetes, crustaceans and insects. A generalist feeding strategy is suggested by the relationship found between prey frequency of occurrence and prey-specific abundance, although specialization of individual predators for some prey items was also highlighted.