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Volume 44, Issue 4


Feeding activity and diet composition of round goby (Neogobius melanostomus, Pallas 1814) in the coastal waters of SE Baltic Sea

Artūras Skabeikis
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Natural Sciences, Klaipėda University, Herkaus Manto str. 84, LT-92294 Klaipėda, Lithuania
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jūratė Lesutienė
  • Open Access Centre for Marine Research, Klaipėda University, Herkaus Manto str. 84, LT-92294 Klaipėda, Lithuania
  • Marine Science and Technology Center, Klaipėda University, Herkaus Manto str. 84, LT-92294 Klaipėda, Lithuania
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-12-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ohs-2015-0048


Feeding activity and diet composition of round goby were investigated in the south-eastern Baltic Sea, the Lithuanian coastal waters during May-October 2012 in order to determine main feeding objects and seasonal periods when native fauna could be most affected by predation of this highly invasive species. In total, prey represented by 18 taxa was found in the gut contents of dissected fish. Feeding activity of round goby varied depending on the body size, sex and stage of the reproduction period. The gut contents of < 50 mm specimens were dominated by zooplanktonic and meiobenthic organisms, whereas larger individuals (50–99 mm) shifted to amphipods and mollusks. Individuals of the intermediate 100-200 mm length had a variable diet, changing depending on the season; in spring they mostly preyed on Macoma balthica, in summer − on polychaetes, while in autumn the contribution of Mytilus trossulus and fish considerably increased in their diet. Diet composition of individuals ≥ 200 mm was relatively constant in the course of the study with substantial preference to M. balthica. These findings imply that benthic fauna, particularly a newly settled generation of epibenthic mollusks in autumn is under strong predatory pressure of the round goby.

Keywords: invasive species; food composition; seasonal variability; reproductive cycle


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About the article

Received: 2015-05-11

Accepted: 2015-07-21

Published Online: 2015-12-09

Published in Print: 2015-12-01

Citation Information: Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies, Volume 44, Issue 4, Pages 508–519, ISSN (Online) 1897-3191, ISSN (Print) 1730-413X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ohs-2015-0048.

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