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Diet composition of New Zealand’s endemic rough skate, Zearaja nasuta
- Bennett, Jerusha, Randhawa, Haseeb S.
- New Zealand journal of marine and freshwater research 2019 v.53 no.1 pp. 162-168
- Rajidae, coasts, diet, ecosystems, stomach, trawl nets, trophic relationships, New Zealand
- Diet analysis can provide an insight into the structure and function of an ecosystem, and can be used in ecosystem-based frameworks to inform management and conservation decisions. Diet composition of rough skate (Zearaja nausta) from the south east coast of New Zealand, was investigated for the first time. We examined 35 stomachs from three trawls between March and June 2017. Prey importance was assessed by a prey specific index of relative importance (PSIRI). This population of rough skates (n = 32) was found to be specialised feeders, primarily preying on one species, Nectocarcinus antarcticus. This study provides the first insight into rough skate trophic interactions in the surrounding marine community.