Diet of Dasyatis pastinaca and Myliobatis aquila (Myliobatiformes) from the Azores, NE Atlantic
This paper describes and discusses the feeding ecology of two stingray species that occur in the Azores: Dasyatis pastinaca and Myliobatis aquila. Both are common coastal species associated with sandy, muddy and rocky bottoms, from surface waters to depths of over 200 m. The diet described here is based on the stomach content analysis from 33 specimens (23 D. pastinaca, 10 M. aquila) collected by spearfishing between June and October 2010 at three different locations along the coast of Terceira Island, Azores. Food habits of D. pastinaca consist mainly of Decapod crustaceans (with a relevance for Pachygrapsus marmoratus) followed by other groups with high representativeness: Polychaeta and Mysidacea. The diet of M. aquila consists mainly of Calliostoma lusitanicum and Stramonita haemastoma. Both species from our sample proved to be generalist predators with different feeding habits. The diet of D. pastinaca is characterized by Crustacea (81% IRI) and that of M. aquila characterized by Mollusca (82% IRI).