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Journal of Aquatic Sciences 29 (2B): 411-422 (2014)

 

DIET COMPOSITION AND FEEDING INTER-RELATIONSHIP IN THE CLAROTEID CATFISH Clarotes laticeps INTHE LOWER RIVER NIGER

 P. A. EKOKOTU 

Department of Fisheries, Delta State University, Asaba Campus, Asaba, Nigeri

Correspondence should be addressed to P. A. Ekokotu: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

ABSTRACT

Food and feeding interrelationship was investigated in samples of Clarotes laticeps collected from the lower River Niger between January 2010 and December 2012. Fish guts  were analysed  to  determine diet composition  using a combination of methods;  frequency of occurrence (%FO), Numerical composition (%N) and total wet weight( %W) of food items per food categories. The relative importance of each of the different dietary items in the fish gut was evaluated using the index of relative importance (%IRI). Diet breadth and overlap were deduced using Levin’s Standardized Index  and simplified Morsita’s Index , respectively. Fish accounted for 50.2% of the total weight of food items (%W) found in the fish stomach.  It occurred in 37.5% of the stomachs containing food (%FO) and accounted for 32.0% of the total dietary items enumerated (%N). Crustaceans constituted 26.0% by weight (%W), 49.8% by frequency of occurrence (%FO) and 25.2% by numerical composition (%N). The index of relative importance (%IRI) was 58.41% for crustaceans and 22.58% for fish. Other important dietary constituents (%IRI) included mollusks (6.09%),  tadpoles and adult frogs       (3.25%), annelids (1.13) and plant seeds (1.53%). Similarity of diet was found to be more between medium and bigger samples than between juvenile and adult fish.   

 

Key Words: Clarotes laticeps, diet composition, feeding, inter-relationship, River Niger