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Sand Devil Shark
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The sand devil is an ambush predator that spends much time buried in the bottom sediment. Its diet consists mainly of demersal teleost fishes such as croakers, goatfishes, and butterfishes. However, some types of demersal fishes such as jacks are rarely eaten, perhaps because they are more active and thus likely to escape attacks. Squid are a major secondary food source, particularly for smaller sharks. Crabs, shrimp, mantis shrimp, skates, and bivalves are infrequently eaten. [4] This species feeds both during the day and at night. It tends to select prey approximately 50–60% as long as its mouth is wide; this size is consistent with what is predicted from optimal foraging theory to yield the most efficient rate of energy return. The variety of prey taken is greatest in fall and least in winter, and smaller sharks have a more varied diet than larger ones. In the northern Gulf of Mexico, the most important prey species are Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus), longspine porgy (Stenotomus caprinus), spot croaker (Leiostomus xanthurus), Gulf butterfish (Peprilus burti), red goatfish (Mullus auratus), dwarf goatfish (Upeneus parvus), and longfin inshore squid (Doryteuthis pealeii). The relative importance of each differs across seasons (for example, squid are more important in winter), perhaps due to seasonal variation in their availability. A known parasite of the sand devil is the copepod Eudactylina spinula.


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