Food and feeding habits of four selected fish species in Cross River Estuary, Nigeria
The food and feeding habits of four fish species: Citharinus latus, Ethmalosa fimbriata, Hepsetus odoe and Trichiurus lepturus, from the Cross River Estuary, Nigeria were investigated. In studying the diets and feeding habits of the fishes, both the frequency of occurrence and numerical methods were used. Results show that C. latus at both the juvenile and sub adult was phytoplanktonic and planktonic at adult stage. E. fimbriata was omnivorous at the juvenile stage, monophagus (solely phytoplanktonic) at the sub-adult stage and planktonic (99.94% phyto and 0.04% zooplankton) at adult stage. H. odoe was found to be carnivorous at both the juvenile and adult stages but tilted towards omnivory (68.18% phytoplankton, 13.63% zooplankton, 4.54% nemata, 13.63% pisces) at sub adult stage. T. lepturus was carnivorous at all three stages. It fed on 99.99% Nemata at juvenile; 44.44% Nemata, 44.44 Ostracoda and 11.11% pisces at sub adult, and at adult stage 30% Nemata, 65% zooplankton and 5% pisces. The study showed that the food and feeding habits of most fish species vary with the age and stage of development.
Keywords: Citharinus latus, Ethmalosa fimbriata, Hepsetus odoe and Trichiurus lepturus, food