Hunting tactics of the lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris, in shallow waters of an oceanic insular area in the western equatorial Atlantic
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The hunting tactics of lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris, are described from underwater and cliff-top observations in the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, western equatorial Atlantic, Brazil. Two main tactics were observed in the shallow waters of sandy beaches and reefs environments: (i) “substrate inspection” of crevices and holes over rocky and reef bottoms, and (ii) “sardine blitz”, which refer to striking schools of fishes (mainly sardines) in the surf zone. The first tactic was restricted to juveniles up to 2 m of total length, whereas subadult and adult sharks with total length larger than 2 m displayed the second. As lemon sharks use waters less than 5 m depth to hunt, perform social behaviours and predator avoidance, results highlight the importance of properly managing these habitats for their conservation, especially in areas where tourism has increased substantially.