Food habits of the blue swimming crab portunus pelagicus along the coast of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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The food habits of the blue swimming crab Portunus pelagicus were investigated using the stomachs of 3948 crabs collected from Kunduchi sub-littoral shallow waters, Msasani Bay and Mzinga creek along the coast of Dar es Salaam. The main food items included mollusks (51.3%), crustaceans (24.1%), fish bones (18%) and unidentified food items (6.6%). The dominant food item was the bivalve Arcuatula arcuatula Hanley, 1844. Other molluscs included the gastropod genera Nassarius, Littoraria and Conus sp. There was no significant difference in the frequency of occurrence of food items among sexes and sizes of P. pelagicus, or according to season. There were, however, significant differences between the different food items and the frequency of their occurrence in the stomachs of ovigerous and non-ovigerous females.