Food and feeding habits of Clarias gariepinus (burchell 1822) in Egbe Reservoir, Ekiti State, Nigeria
The food and feeding habit of the catfish Clarias gariepinus in Egbe Reservoir in Ekiti State, Nigeria was studied using 450 Clarias samples collected between January 2010 and November, 2010. Analysis of the stomach contents was done using numerical, frequency of occurrence and volumetric methods. The fish fed mostly on phytoplankton (Cyanophyceae, Chlorophyceae, Euglenophyceae) constituting 97.10% by numerical method. Other food items found in the stomach include insects, zooplankton, arthropod parts, detritus and crustaceans which were of secondary importance. Clarias gariepinus in Egbe Reservoir is an omnivore and females had more empty stomachs (55.60%) than the males (44.40%). This gender bias could be due to intra-specific competition for the available food in the habitat. The information gathered from this present study serves as a guideline for further research on the reservoir.
Keywords: Food and feeding habits, Clarias gariepinus, Stomach contents, Omnivore, Insects, Egbe Reservoir, Nigeria