Feeding ecology and diet

Spadefishes, or batfishes, are omnivorous and feed on ben-thic algae and invertebrates. Some species are capable of crushing bivalve or gastropod shells and crustaceans. Although scats have markedly herivorous tendencies, they are also known to be omnivorous; they even feed on detrital materials and have been observed to feed on feces discharged by ships or sewage systems. Aquatic macrophytes consitute the bulk of the stomach contents of both S. argus and S. tetracanthus in freshwater habitats. Rabbitfishes are herbivorous or omnivorous, and schools of juveniles are efficient, if not rapid, grazers. The lou-var feeds on gelatinous mesoplankton in the water column. The Moorish idol feeds primarily on sponges but also plucks other benthic invertebrates. Surgeonfishes are largely herbivorous and browse or graze on benthic algae. Some species are adapted to feeding on plankton in the water column.

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