The influence of morphology on the diet of two nectobenthic fish streams

Michele Andriaci Ferreira do Carmo, Walter Barrella, Fabio Cop Ferreira, Ursulla Pereira Souza


The diet of the neotropical fish is flexible and influenced by environmental conditions, the biology of the species and the spatial and seasonal changes of habitat. The ecomorphology show the use of habitat and food resources, niche occupation and the position of the species in the water column. The aim of this study was to determine which morphological measures separating the two species of fish nectobenthics Characidium schubarti and Imparfinis mirini and compare their diets due to these measures. Fish were collected with a sieve and dip net in the basin of the Upper Paranapanema, fixed with 10% formalin and preserved in 70% alcohol. In the laboratory, fish were identified, measured as the standard length (mm) and weighed (g). Morphometric measurements related to the use of food resources and habitat were taken with a digital caliper. The diet C. schubarti and I. mirini was analyzed following the method of Food Preference Degree, with larvae of Diptera the preference item for a total of 42 stomachs. Species were classified as invertivorous with a strong tendency insectivorous. The Principal Component Analysis (PCA) explained 95% of the variation in morphology and Canonical correlation analysis showed that 13% of the total variation in diet composition was explained by morphological differences. The two species have invertivore eating habits with a strong tendency insectivorous, with preferential consumption by immature insects.


Keywords: neotropical fishes, diet, ecomorphology, Paranapanema, habitat.

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