Ontogenetic and diel changes in diets of two sympatric mudskippers Periophthalmus modestus and Periophthalmus magnuspinnatus on the tidal flats of Suncheon Bay, Korea

Gun Wook Baeck, Yang Ho Yoon, Joo Myun Park*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Variability in the diet breadth of two sympatric mudskippers Periophthalmus modestus and P. magnuspinnatus in the tidal flats of Suncheon Bay, Korea, was compared. The analysis of 494 P. modestus and 455 P. magnuspinnatus specimens revealed that both were carnivores, consuming mainly gammarid amphipods, polychaetes, insects, and crabs. However, adult P. modestus consumed greater proportions of polychaetes whereas P. magnuspinnatus ate more crabs. The diets of both species showed ontogenetic changes in diet; smaller individuals of both species consumed harpacticoid copepods and gammarid amphipods, whereas larger fishes of both species fed mainly on different preys. The stomach content index (SCI) of both species underwent significant size-related and diel changes; the values of both species were higher in the larger size classes and during the late afternoon. Levin's index of diet breadths of both species were lower during the day than at night, indicating high prey selection during the daytime. Non-metric multi-dimensional scaling ordination emphasized that the dietary compositions of the smaller individuals of both species showed some obvious similarities, with dietary similarity gradually reducing with increasing fish size. This indicates that the two species consume gradually different types of prey as they grow, that is, resource partitioning may be occurring between larger P. modestus and P. magnuspinnatus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-637
Number of pages9
JournalFisheries Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • feeding ecology
  • mudskipper
  • Periophthalmus modestus
  • Periophthalmus magnuspinnatus
  • Suncheon Bay
  • tidal flat

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