Daily food intake of Kajikia audax (Philippi, 1887) off Cabo San Lucas, Gulf of California, Mexico
The daily food intake rates of the striped marlin, Kajikia audax (Perciformes: Istiophoridae), were estimated using qualitative and quantitative analyses of their trophic spectrum. We analyzed the stomach contents of 505 striped marlin caught by the sport fishing fleet off Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico, sampled from October 1987 through December 1989. The most important preys were chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus), California pilchard (Sardinops caeruleus), and jumbo squid (Dosidicus gigas); together these represented ~55% of the striped marlin diet. The daily food consumption was estimated to be 2 kg per day, or ~3.6% of the mean body weight of K. audax. The total biomass of the prey consumed by the striped marlin during the 27 months of sampling around Los Cabos was estimated at 24.8 ton, of which the chub mackerel represented ~29% (7.2 ton), California pilchard just under 16% (3.9 ton), and jumbo squid ~10% (2.5 ton). The feeding habits of K. audax are discussed in terms of the distribution of the epipelagic (neritic and oceanic zones), demersal, and benthic prey, confirming that striped marlin migrate vertically and horizontally in search of their food.