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Feeding behaviour of larval Ambystoma mexicanum

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

The Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, endemic to the freshwater lakes, Xochimilco and Chalco in Mexico City, feeds on zooplankton during its larval stages. We evaluated the functional response over eight weeks of A. mexicanum fed different prey items found in its natural habitat (rotifers: Brachionus havanaensis, B. calyciflorus, B. rubens and Plationus patulus; cladocerans: Moina macrocopa, Macrothrix triserialis, Alona glabra and Simocephalus vetulus; and ostracods: Heterocypris incongruens). Zooplankton consumption by A. mexicanum varied in relation to the prey species and age of the larvae. Unlike oviparous fish larvae which often feed preferentially on rotifers in the first few weeks, A. mexicanum larvae fed more on cladocerans and ostracods. Among the cladocerans offered, larval A. mexicanum consumed higher numbers of M. triserialis and M. macrocopa. Feeding on the largest cladoceran tested, S. vetulus, increased after the fifth week. There was a consistent increase in the number of ostracods Heterocypris incongruens, consumed with age, from 4 to 169 prey per larva over eight weeks. The results are discussed with relation to the importance of zooplankton diet in conservation effort of this endangered species in Lake Xochimilco.

Affiliations: 1: Posgrado en Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, México D. F. 04510, Mexico; 2: Laboratorio de Zoología Acuática, División de Investigación y Posgrado, Edificio UMF, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Campus Iztacala, Tlalnepantla 54090, Edo. de México, México;, Email: nandini@servidor.unam.mx; 3: Laboratorio de Zoología Acuática, División de Investigación y Posgrado, Edificio UMF, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Campus Iztacala, Tlalnepantla 54090, Edo. de México, México; 4: Departamento de Zoología, Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Circuito Exterior, Ciudad Universitaria, México D. F. 04510, Mexico

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853811x610348
2011-11-01
2017-02-27

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