Feeding indices of Indo-pacific swimming crab, Charybdis hellerii (A.Milne-edwards, 1867) in coastal waters of the Persian Gulf (Hormozgan province)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Fisheries, Faculty of Marine Science and Technology, University of Hormozgan, Hormozgan, Iran

2 Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Mangrove forest research center, University of Hormozgan, Hormozgan, Iran

3 Department of biology and stock assessment, Persian Gulf and Oman Sea Ecological Research Center, Iranian Fisheries Science Research Institute, Agricultural Research Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Bandar Abbas, Iran


Feeding habits studies are one of the most important subject in fisheries science. The investigation on feeding habits of true crabs is one of the most important factors in the study of growth and survival of crabs. Distribution, growth, reproduction of crabs are largely dependent on the availability of prey.
Materials and methods:
Feeding habits of the Indo-pacific swimming crab, Charybdis hellerii (A. Milne-Edwards, 1867) were studied in the northern Persian Gulf during the period from June 2015 to May 2016. Sampling was conducted along coastal waters by monitoring bottom shrimp trawlers.
Results and discussion:
A total 371 stomach were measured of which, 197 were full and 174 were empty. Crabs stomach contents included: 60.75% crustaceans, 11.5% fish, 8.6% molluscs, 6.1% seagrass, 5.3% mixture and 7.7% undetectable and non-food as sand and gravel. The gut vacuity index was 46.9% during the research which showed medium nutriment in this animal.  The crustaceans, fish and molluscs are the dominant main food in gut. The results indicated that gut vacuity index was not statistically different between crab with barnacles and crabs without barnacles (P> 0.05).
The recorded results showed that this species is omnivorous and its diet medium. There were no significant differences in the preference for food items in the different sex of the crabs. The Indo-pacific swimming crab as other portunid crabs are carnivores with a preference for animal food and the behavior of active predators of sessile and slow-moving macro-invertebrates.


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