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Some Aspects of the Biology of Three Species of Puntius (= Barbus) (Pisces, Cyprinidae), Endemic To Sri Lanka

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Morphometrics, aspects of the food and feeding habits, and the reproductive biology of Puntius nigrofasciatus, P. cumingi and P. pleurotaenia, all three barbs endemic to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and found to inhabit mountain streams, are described. In addition the general habits and activity patterns of the three species are also dealt with. All three species of barbs are primarily herbivorous in their food habits, with an overlap in the dietary composition to a significant extent. However, the possible avoidance of potential "competition" among the three species is discussed. Puntius nigrofasciatus was found to be a serial spawner with a number of spawning periods in a year. The fecundity of this species was found to vary between 151 and 638 for fish ranging in length from 46-64 mm and 1.60-3.93 gm in weight. The absence of mature individuals in stage IV and above of P. cumingi and P. pleurotaenia is thought to indicate their more seasonal nature of the spawning period.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, Vidyalankara Campus, University of Sri Lanka, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka; 2: Zoological Laboratory, State University Leiden, Kaiserstraat 63, The Netherlands


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