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Food and feeding habits of Hemichromis fasciatus Peters, 1857 and Heterotis niloticus (Cuvier, 1829) in lake Ehuikro (Côte d’Ivoire)

Akissi Nathalie Kouadio, Yao Aristide Konan, Stanislas Silvain Yao, Zeré Marius Gogbé, Gouli Gooré Bi

Abstract


The main of this study was to compare the diet of Hemichromis fasciatus (Perciformes, Cichlidae) and Heterotis niloticus (Osteoglossiformes, Arapaimidae) in Lake Ehuikro (Bongouanou, Ivory Coast). Ffish were caught using gillnets between July 2017 and June 2018. A total of 206 stomachs of H. fasciatus and 71 stomachs of H. niloticus were examined and the relative importance index (RI) was used to analyze the importance of different items. Results indicate that both species are omnivorous tending towards insectivorous with a predominance of Chaoboridae. Despite the overlap obtained in diet of both species (Cλ = 0.89), the ecological niche was small and wide in H. fasciatus and H. niloticus, respectively. Dietary variations indicated ontogenic changes in the first specie and seasonal changes in the second specie. Proportion of mineral fraction observed in stomach contents suggests pelagic feeding behavior in H. fasciatus and benthic behavior in H. niloticus.

Keywords: Diet, fish, omnivorous, insectivorous, ecological niche.



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