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Diet composition of wild Loligo vulgaris paralarvae along the West Iberian Peninsula coast

Elsa García-Mayoral*, Álvaro Roura, Ana Moreno, Ángel F. González

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Trophic interactions in cephalopod paralarvae are difficult to evaluate due to the ingestion of liquidised contents, which are hardly recognizable by visual methods, but molecular techniques such as next generation sequencing (NGS) can provide a better resolution. The aim of this study was to unravel the diet of Loligo vulgaris paralarvae collected along the NW Iberian Peninsula coast applying NGS techniques. Trophic analyses were done in 31 paralarvae ranging from 1.61 to 6.01 mm of dorsal mantle length, and age estimated between 2 and 28 d. The digestive system of each paralarvae was dissected and 300 bp of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene (COI) was sequenced with the MiSeq platform. Up to 3,201,878 reads were obtained and 130 Amplicon Sequencing Variants were identified as prey (158,457 reads). Crustaceans accounted for 88.09% of the total reads, mainly represented by calanoids 73.22%, euphausiids 5.73% and decapods 2.75%. Distance based linear model (DistLM) showed that the diet patterns depended mainly on the spatial variables accounting for 46.92% of the total variation, with calanoids and euphausiids the dominant prey in the diet of the paralarvae from SW Galicia, while siphonophores and myopsids constituted the most important prey on the Northern Galician coast.