Fish larvae as food item of planktonic predator (Chaetognatha)
Photos of predation of sagitta (Chaetognatha) to fish larvae are presented for the first time for the Black Sea. While analyzing ichthyoplankton samples obtained in May and November in 2017 (94ᵗʰ and 98ᵗʰ cruises of RV “Professor Vodyanitsky”) several sagittas were found with their guts containing fish larvae. Fish larvae seem to have been captured by sagittas in the same way as sagittas in cannibalism cases, with both folding in half at the spot of capture. The data obtained allow us to assume sagittas in conditions of high abundance of eggs and fish larvae in the plankton to be not only a food competitor of larvae and juveniles of fish, as a fodder plankton consumer, but an active predator, being able to play a significant role in the elimination of ichthyoplankton.
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