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Food and Feeding Habits of Two Cyprinid Forage Fishes, Puntius (= Barbus) Filamentosus (Val.) and P. Amphibius (Val.) From South Kerala, India

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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).

Food and feeding habits of Puntius filamentosus and P. amphibius were investigated. Both species were found to be omnivores, with emphasis on filamentous algae and higher plants in P. filamentosus and on detritus in P. amphibius. Differences in diet compositions and feeding intensities were found according to sizes of the fish and through the year. Niche segregation of these two co-occurring species was found to center on spatial segregation (clear vs turbid waters) and feeding substrates (column vs bottom). For the rest the diets seem to be largely governed by food availability and accessibility. Little evidence was found for the existence of adaptations reducing competition between size groups of the same species or adaptive relationships between food intake and breeding seasons.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Aquatic Biology & Fisheries, University of Kerala, Trivandrum 695007, Kerala, India; 2: Zoölogisch Laboratorium, University of Leiden, P.O. Box 9516, 2300 RA, Leiden, The Netherlands


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