Studies on the Food Composition and Feeding Pattern of Fish Communities in Qua Iboe River, Niger Delta Region of Nigeria
Trends in the diets and feeding activity of 21 families of fish comprising 37 species, 29 genera and 543 individuals from two ecologically distinct zones of Qua Iboe River were investigated from July – October 2008. The Relative Frequency, Percentage Point and Index of Food Dominance methods were used to determine their diets and feeding patterns. The proportion of fish with food were higher (339; 62.43%) than those without food (204; 37.57%) but were statistically not significant (P>0.05). Of the 356 specimens examined in Station 1, 198 (55.62%) had food while 158 (44.38%) were without food. Out of the 187 specimens in Station 2, 141 (75.40%) had food while 46 (24.60%) were without food. In all, 204 specimens (37.57%) had empty stomachs, 79 (14.55%) had full stomachs whereas 63 (11.60%), 89 (16.39%) and 82 (15.10%) were for ¾, ½ and ¼ respectively. The six specimens of P. africana had empty stomach. Among the fish species represented by single specimen, only A. fasciatus had empty stomach. Two of the remaining five species: E. aeneus and S. barracuda had fully distended stomachs while T. goreensis and X. nigri had their stomachs half full. The remaining two species, P. peroteti and T. guineensis) had three quarter full and one quarter full stomachs respectively. A total of thirteen major food items were identified: nine in Station 1 and twelve in Station 2. In Station 1, the dominant food item was sediments (75.16%) and the least was amphibians (5.10%). Fish and sediments were the dominant food items (15.63%) while unidentified food was the least (1.56%) in Station 2. However, high values of unidentified foods and in more species were recorded in Station 1 than Station 2. The food of these species were diversified containing both plant, animal and non-living materials.
Stomach Contents, Food Habit, Feeding Intensity, Fish Communities, Nigeria
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