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Diet of Hydromedusa tectifera (Testudines-Chelidae) in a mountain stream of Córdoba province, Argentina

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The diet of Hydromedusa tectifera occurring in two mountain streams in the province of Córdoba is described through a comparative analysis of 154 individuals. Turtles were manually captured between August 2005 and August 2006 from streams at the localities of Tanti and Flor Serrana. Before being released, turtles were stomach-flushed, and sex and carapace length were recorded. The stomach contents were observed under stereomicroscope; prey items were identified and classified according to size and volume. The importance of the different items was quantified using the Index of Relative Importance (IRI). Similarity in the diet between sexes and among size classes and seasons of an annual cycle was evaluated using the simplified Morisita index. Trophic breadth was estimated with the Shannon diversity index. Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) was used to evaluate differences in the diet between categories (sex, size classes). Forty-seven food items belonging to the following taxa were identified: leeches, annelids, gastropods, arachnids, insects, and fishes. According to the IRI value, the most important items in the diet of H. tectifera were larvae of Trichoptera (IRI = 33.5), fishes (IRI = 30), and naiads of Odonata (IRI = 25.2). The relative importance of the items varied with size of turtles but not with sex. Size of prey consumed increased with increasing turtle size. A greater trophic breadth was observed in smaller individuals.

Affiliations: 1: Centro de Zoología Aplicada. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba), Rondeau 798, Casilla de Correo 122, Córdoba (5000), Argentina; 2: Museo de Zoología de la Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba), Velez Sarfield 299, Córdoba (5000), Argentina; 3: Centro de Zoología Aplicada. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba), Rondeau 798, Casilla de Correo 122, Córdoba (5000), Argentina;, Email: gleynaud@efn.uncor.edu

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853809789647040
2009-10-01
2016-12-07

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