Food and feeding performance of Pellonula leonensis (Reajon, 1917) (Clupeidae) from Cross River estuary, Nigeria
The diet of Pellonula leonensis was studied in Cross River estuary, Nigeria, from January to December. The major food component were fish larvae, fine particulate organic matter, coarse particulate organic matter (detritus), crustaceans, ants, scales sand and plant matter. Scales and sand were secondary items while macrophyte matters were incidental items. Females had greater feeding activity than males an consumed all the items while males consumed only seven items. The wet season diet comprised 10 items and dry season diet comprised seven items. There was no significant difference in feeding activity in dry and wet seasons. Adult fed more on ants and fish larvae while juveniles fed more on detritus, crustaceans and sand. The observed ontogenetic diet shift enhances co-existence of the size groups. Pellonula was considered piscivorous and cannibalistic its feeding habit. Since it feeds or the same item throughout the years, the food resources were considered important factor in the elimination of the fish population.
Keywords: Pellonula leonensis, stomach contents, Nigeria, piscivorous, cannibalistic.
AJAZEB Vol. 7 2005: pp. 131-136