Diet of bluegill Lepomis macrochirus in a South African reservoir during winter and summer
Alien fishes are considered a major threat to aquatic biodiversity in South Africa, yet relatively little regional information on their biology and ecology is available for many of these species. Seasonal changes in the diet of the bluegill Lepomis macrochirus in Howieson’s Poort dam, Grahamstown, were assessed during summer and winter in 2014–2015, using stomach content analysis. In winter, juvenile and adult fish diets were dominated by crustacean zooplankton and insects, respectively. In summer, juvenile fish fed on crustaceans and insects, whereas adults consumed mostly fish eggs, indicating a potential impact by these invasive fish on native fish through oophagy.
Keywords: dietary shift, non-native fish, prey groups, stomach contents