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Population Characteristics and Food Resource Utilization of Conus in the Galapagos Islands

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Title:Population Characteristics and Food Resource Utilization of Conus in the Galapagos Islands
Authors:Nybakken, James
Date Issued:Jul 1978
Publisher:University of Hawaii Press
Citation:Nybakken J. 1978. Population characteristics and food resource utilization of Conus in the Galapagos Islands. Pac Sci 32(3): 271-280.
Abstract:Two large collections of Conus from the Galapagos Islands
permitted the analysis of size, sex ratio, and food of 4 of the estimated 13
species of Conus present in the islands. The species investigated were C. diadema,
C. lucidus, C. tiaratus, and C. nux. Significantly unequal sex ratios were found
in the samples of C. diadema, C. lucidus, and C. tiaratus, but there was no
indication of sexual dimorphism in shell sizes. Conus diadema was found to
have the most catholic diet of the species, consuming mainly polychaetes of
the family Terebellidae, but also sipunculids, mollusks, and eight other polychaete
families. Very few food items were recovered from the guts of C. lucidus
and most were polychaetes of the families Sabellariidae and Capitellidae.
Conus tiaratus and C. nux were both found to feed primarily on polychaetes
of the families Nereidae and Eunicidae. In both cases, the dominant species
was Nereis jacksoni. Comparison of diets between cognate species in the
Galapagos and the Indo-West Pacific indicated the Galapagos species consumed
somewhat different prey species. Although there are significantly fewer Conus
speCies peihabitafiri the Galapagos than in the Indo-West Pacific, fhere were
no significant differences with respect to number of prey species consumed or
prey species diversity between the areas. Thus, there was no evidence of decreased
dietary specialization in the presence of fewer competing congeners.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 32, Number 3, 1978

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