Feeding habits of oriental sole (Brachirus orientalis) on the Bushehr coast of the Persian Gulf
The feeding habits of oriental sole, Brachirus orientalis (Bloch & Schneider) were investigated using 300 male and female specimens collected from coastal waters of Bushehr Province (Persian Gulf) between June 2015 and July 2016. The total length of females and males ranged from 16.2 to 38.5 cm and 14.1 to 29.1 cm, respectively. Of the total number of stomachs examined, 225 were empty (vacuity index = 77%). This index varied significantly over the year (P < 0.05), with maximum values in April and September and minimum in October and May. The B. orientalis diet was composed of nine prey species belonging to five classes. The most important prey items were Crustacea and Mollusca (Bivalvia and Gastropoda). Diet composition showed little seasonal variation, and Crustacea, Bivalvia, and Gastropoda were the most important prey items in all seasons. Sex did not appear to have any significant effects on dietary composition, and the main prey items were consumed by both males and females (P > 0.05).