Size-related and seasonal changes in the diet of the non-native Cichla kelberi Kullander & Ferreira, 2006 in a lowland reservoir in the southeastern Brazil
Keywords:Feeding ecology, freshwater fishes, non-native species, piscivory, impoundment
AbstractAbstract: We examined size-related and seasonal changes in the diet of the peacock bass Cichla kelberi in a tropical lowland reservoir in southeastern Brazil over three hydro-climatic seasons: summer (high rainfall and temperature), winter (low rainfall and temperature), and late spring (increasing rainfall and temperature) during two years (2006-2007). The tested hypothesis is that this non-native predator fish changes diet during the subadult and adult phases and among seasons to adapt in new colonized environment. Fishes of the families Clupeidae (Platanichthys platana), Characidae (Astyanax spp.) and Cichlidae (Cichla kelberi) were the most important food items, followed by insects of the order Odonata. Cannibalism was also recorded for the largest individuals. A significant size-related change in diet was found with the smallest individuals (Total Length, TL < 20 cm) preying mainly on fishes, whereas the larger individuals (TL > 30 cm) preyed mainly on Odonata. The niche breadth increased during growth, with the largest individuals having a diet more evenly distributed among the available resources. No significant seasonal differences in diet composition were found, but stomachs with higher degree of volume occupied by food were more frequent in late spring than in summer. Conversely, the highest niche breadth was found during the summer compared to the other seasons. Together, these observations suggest an efficient use of the available resources by this top predator in this new colonized system.
How to Cite
Mendonça, H. S., Santos, A. C. A., Martins, M. M., & Araújo, F. G. (2018). Size-related and seasonal changes in the diet of the non-native Cichla kelberi Kullander & Ferreira, 2006 in a lowland reservoir in the southeastern Brazil. Biota Neotropica, 18(3). Retrieved from //www.biotaneotropica.org.br/BN/article/view/1534