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A Comparative Study of the Food and Feeding Habits of Puntius Bimaculatus and P. Titteya (Pisces, Cyprinidae)

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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).

The food and feeding habits of two species of barbs, Puntius bimaculatus (Bleeker) and P. titteya Deraniyagala were studied. These two species co-occur in creeks leading to small streams at the foot-hills in most hilly areas of the country and are endemic to Sri Lanka. P. bimaculatus was found to be predominantly an algal-detrital feeder while the other was more omnivorous in its feeding habits. There were significant differences in the diet of different size groups of any one species and the similarity in the diet of the two species was found to increase with increasing size. All size groups of both species are thought to exhibit selectivity in their diet. P. bimaculatus was found to have a relatively longer gut and this is correlated to its diet; also the mean relative length of the gut was found to increase with increasing length. The gill rakers and pharyngeal teeth may also aid in dealing with ingested food material in Puntius bimaculatus.

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


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