The diet of peacock blenny, Salaria pavo (Blenniidae), in the eastern Adriatic Sea
The diet of the peacock blenny, Salaria pavo (Risso, 1810), was investigated with respect to fish size and diurnal cycle. Stomach contents of 518 specimens, 4.9-14.4 cm TL, collected by a small beach seine from April to October, in 2002 and 2003, were analyzed, and 88 were empty (16.9%). This percentage varied significantly along the diurnal cycle, with a maximum number of empty stomachs recorded during the daily period (29.3%) and minimum at the evening hours (10.2%). The peacock blenny feeds on 8 major prey groups: Amphipoda, Gastropoda, Decapoda, Bivalvia, Isopoda, fish eggs, Algae and “others” (including Cirripedia, Polychaeta, Spongia, Copepoda, Polyplacophora, Ophiuroidea and Insecta). Amphipods were the most important prey, constituting 62.7% of the total IRI, followed by gastropods (%IRI = 17.8). The most frequent prey were the amphipod Talitrus saltator (%IRI = 10.1), the gastropod Monodonta turbinata (%IRI = 4.6) and the amphipod Gammarus olivi (%IRI = 3.8). Diet composition showed significant overlap in relation with the fish size and amphipods constituted the main prey in all size classes. The composition of prey ingested and feeding intensity changed during the diurnal cycle. Amphipods dominated in evening (%IRI = 71.0) and early morning diet (%IRI = 74.0), while gastropods (%IRI = 36.8) and bivalves (%IRI = 25.5) where most frequently in the daily hours. The highest feeding intensity was recorded at the evening hours and during early morning. Various prey groups and species found in the stomach indicates that peacock blenny is a generalistic fish.