The relationships between gut length and prey preference of three pipefish (Syngnathus acus, Syngnathus typhle, Nerophis ophidion Linnaeus, 1758) species distributed in Aegean Sea, Turkey

Document Type: Research Paper


Department of Hydrobiology


In this research, gut lengths and numerical occurrence of gut contents (NO%) of Syngnathus acus, Syngnathus typhle and Nerophis ophidion were examined. The specimens were captured with beach seine net in different habitats (vegetated and sandy-vegetated etc.) at the coasts of Aegean Sea between 2006-and 2008. The zooplanktonic preys were mostly consumed by Syngnathus acus and Nerophis ophidion, whereas, Syngnathus typhle showed the most prey diversity. Thus, zooplanktonic organisms and other vegetative materials were consumed by three pipefish, however, vegetative tissues were mostly preferred by Syngnathus typhle. Feeding habits of three pipefish species are associated with gut lengths that show differences in increases or decreases depending on fish size and shape. In this study, S. typhle that has longer gut length than the other pipefish species explains the situation of being rich in organic gut content such as benthic zooplankton. Accordingly, probable presence or absent of the relationships between gut length and prey groups for three pipefish were discussed. The obtained results have supported low index values explaining the exact feeding habits of the pipefish.