Diet of Hemigrammus marginatus (Characiformes: Characidae) in the Upper Contas River, Diamantina Plateau (Bahia, Brazil)

Silvia Britto Barreto, André Teixeira da Silva, Fabiane Barreto Souza, Ricardo Jucá-Chagas


Studies on the composition of fish diet and how the species exploit the food resources are especially relevant in the tropical freshwater systems, where the dietary plasticity is a commonly found characteristic. In this study, we analysed the food spectrum and the possible spatial, temporal and ontogenetic variations in the diet of a characid species (Hemigrammus marginatus Ellis 1911) in the region of the Upper Contas River, in Diamantina Plateau. As results, we verified an omnivorous and generalist food habit, with predominance of microcrustaceans, insects and filamentous algae. Seasonality did not alter the supply of food resource used by the species. However, differences were detected in the dominant categories when comparing the two rivers sampled, as well as food selectivity throughout the development of the species. These data increase the knowledge about the biology of H. marginatus and allow understanding the influence of the characteristics of the rivers and their surroundings in the trophic ecology of the species, especially in a region with high endemism of fishes and increasing anthropic action that has threatened a still little known ichthyofauna.

Iheringia Série Zoologia

Museu de Ciências Naturais, Fundação Zoobotânica do Rio Grande do Sul

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