Feeding ecology and prey preferences of a piscivorous fish in the Lagoa do Peixe national park, a biosphere reserve in southern Brazil

Corrêa, Fabiano; Claudino, Marlucy Coelho; Bastos, Rodrigo Ferreira; Huckembeck, Sônia; Garcia, Alexandre Miranda


We investigated the diet, feeding strategy,size-related dietary shifts and prey preferences of South American Hoplias aff. malabaricus in an internationally recognized but poorly investigatedBiosphere Reserve in southern Brazil. Fish were caught between April 2008 and March 2009 using a variety of fishing gear. The analysis of 113 individuals revealed a diet essentially composed of fish (16 species), particularly characid species (9). The diet became more diverse and contained larger fish prey with increasing predator size. Feeding strategy analysis revealed a clear specialization towards the consumption of fish. However, individuals did not prey upon particular prey species, instead opportunistically consuming many different fish species, which could be a strategy to avoid intraspecific competition. Characid species were the most important prey, followed by poecillids. A multi-gear sampling of the ichthyofauna revealed that these prey species were the most abundant (Characidae: 61.3%, Poeciliida 18.8%) of the 14 fish families occurring at the study site, suggesting that the predator exploits the most abundant fish resources available rather than the rarerbfish prey. These findings suggest that potential topdown controls exerted by H. aff. malabaricus in this system follow specific food web pathways that seem to be mediated by the abundance of prey resources.

Show full item record


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)


  • IO - Artigos publicados em periódicos