Stomach Contents and Structure of a Longman’s Beaked Whale (Indopacetus pacificus) Stranded in Kyushu, Japan

Abstract: The stomach contents from a female Longman’s beaked whale (Indopacetus pacificus), which stranded on the coast of Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan, were examined. This is the first specimen of this species from Japan and also its northern-most record. The remains collected from the stomach consisted of numerous cephalopod beaks and lenses and a large number of unidentified nematodes. Ninety-nine upper beaks and 69 lower beaks from squid species were collected from the stomach. The lower beaks were used to identify squid prey species; five species were identified: Taonius pavo, Onykia loennbergi, Onychoteuthis borealijaponica, Chiroteuthis picteti, and Histioteuthis inermis. Taonius pavo was the most common species and accounted for 84% of the total beaks. Distribution data for these squid species suggest that this whale fed in the epipelagic to mesopelagic zones in the western North Pacific off the southern part of Japan. Stomach morphology was also examined. The presence of a main stomach with three connecting chambers and one pyloric stomach compartment was confirmed. It appears that the morphology of this species’ stomach is similar to that found in Tasmacetus and Ziphius. This is the first report on the food habits, stomach anatomy, and parasites of Longman’s beaked whale and contributes to a better understanding of their biology.

Key Words: stomach contents, feeding habits, stomach anatomy, distribution, Japan, Longman’s beaked whale, Indopacetus pacificus, Taonius pavo

Document Type: Research article

DOI: 10.1578/AM.36.2.2010.172

Page Numbers: 172-177

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