Food and feeding habit of Auchenoglanis occidentalis (Vallenciennce, 1840) in Zaria, Nigeria
The stomachs of 226 Auchenoglanis occidentalis obtained from Zaria Reservoir were examined for food items. 59 (22.18%) had empty stomachs while 207 (77.82%) contained food items. Identified food items included chironomid larvae (25.71%), organic detritus (22.03%), insect remains (19.51%) and plant remains (12.43%) were the most important constituents. Others of secondary importance included Chaoborus larvae (3.4%), Chironomid pupae (2.78%) Ceratopogonidea (2.31%) and dragonfly nymphs (0.4%). A. occidentalis fed on a variety of items ranging from insect larvae and pupae to plant material and detritus, hence the A. occidentalis in Zaria Reservoir can be considered as omnivorous. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in the food items consumed in wet and dry seasons. There was also no distinct qualitative variation in food items consumed among the size groups of A. occidentalis.
Key words: Food and feeding habits, Auchenoglanis occidentalis, Zaria Reservoir
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