Diet composition of two sympatric snappers Lutjanus synagris and Ocyurus chrysurus from the north continental shelf of Yucatan, Mexico

Brulé T., Rincón-Sandoval L.A., González-González M., Montero-Muñoz J.L., Colás-Marrufo T., Renan X., Trejo-Martínez J.

Date de parution: mars 2023
Volume: 47
Number: 1
Pagination: 067-078

Corresponding author: Thierry Brulé,

How to cite: Brulé, T., Rincón-Sandoval, L. A., González-González, M., Montero-Muñoz, J. L., Colás-Marrufo, T., Renan, X., & Trejo-Martínez, J. (2023). Diet composition of two sympatric snappers Lutjanus synagris and Ocyurus chrysurus from the north continental shelf of Yucatan, Mexico. Cybium, 47(2): 67-78.


Snappers are opportunistic carnivores with a leading role in energy flows between trophic interactions within tropical ecosystems. In the southern Gulf of Mexico, the few reported trophic-structure models are based on snapper stomach content data from other geographic regions (e.g. Atlantic coast of United States, northern Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and Brazil). To optimise the reliability of these models, we present new information on the diet composition of two commercially important species: lane snapper Lutjanus synagris and yellowtail snapper Ocyurus chrysurus. From January 2008 to 2009, the stomach contents of 1,074 L. synagris and 1,516 O. chrysurus were collected from three fishing sites off the northern coast of Yucatan, Mexico. Contents were analysed using frequency, number and weight of the identified prey species. A three-level, nested PERMANOVA analysis was used to assess differences between the potential prey and their biomass using the factors of snapper species, fishing site and climate season. Multidimensional scale (MDS) and SIMPER analyses were run to establish dissimilarity within the discriminating factors. The main food items found in the L. synagris diet were Brachyura, Penaeioidea and unidentified shrimps. Penaeioidea were the most abundant items in the O. chrysurus diet. Prey biomass analysis revealed a dissimilarity in diet composition between the two snapper species, as well as between fishing sites and climate seasons. The principal discriminatory prey categories were Brachyura, Penaeioidea, Osteichthyes, with Caridea and unidentified shrimps accounting for slightly smaller proportions. The results confirm the trophic position of these two sympatric snappers, showing that each plays a different trophic role in the ecosystem of the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mots-clés: Diet dissimilarity - Food habits - Lutjanidae - Southern Gulf of Mexico
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