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Food Selection of Two Co-Occurring Carplets Barbus Cumingi and Barbus Nigrofasciatus (Osteichthyes, Cyprinidae) in a Mountain Stream of 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).

The food and feeding ecology of Barbus cumingi and B. nigrofasciatus were studied by monthly sampling for 15 months in a head-stream of Mahaweli river and also in small experimental tanks. Both species fed on the bottom aufwuchs layer but, when available, preferred formulated dry feed. Although the composition of the diet of both species depends mainly on the food items available in the habitat, the relative abundance of different food items in the diet of each species and that of the habitat were found to be significantly different. Both species mainly fed on diatoms and detritus in the stream and on green algae in the experimental tanks, but avoided blue-green algae in both habitats. Both species included in their diets relatively more diatoms and less detritus as they grew. The quantitative dietary composition of the smaller individuals of the two species was significantly different, but that of the larger individuals was found to be not significantly different. The quantitative dietary composition was also significantly different between some of the size classes of each species despite the high degrees of dietary overlap between these classes.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka


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