Food Habits and Diet Relationship in the Redbelly Tilapia (Tilapia zillii) and Guenther’s Mouthbrooder (Chromidotilapia guntheri) from an Abandoned Gold Mine Reservoir, Southwestern Nigeria
Keywords:competition; diet overlap; fishes; freshwater; food items; food preference
The food and feeding habits of the redbelly Tilapia (Tilapia zillii) and Guenther’s mouthbrooder (Chromidotilapia guntheri) were investigated in an abandoned gold mine reservoir at Igun from June 2013 to May 2014. Using a cast net and gill-net fishing gears, 370 fish individuals were caught and their stomach contents were analysed by using the frequency of occurrence and numerical methods. Tilapia zillii comprised 53.78% (199 individuals), while Chromidotilapia guntheri covered up the remaining percentage (46.22%) which is made up of 171 individuals. Food items in the stomachs of T. zillii individuals predominantly consisted of detritus, mud and algae (77.97%), while those in C. guntheri individuals mostly consisted fish remains, detritus and algae (81.67%). T. zillii exploited more food items (23 of 27) as compared to C. guntheri (17 of 27). The Schoener’s index value for the species was 0.65. The study showed that T. zillii and C. guntheri exhibited benthopelagic exploitation and are mainly herbivorous and omnivorous respectively based on the food items observed in the stomach contents of these species. The fish species fed on related food items as confirmed by Schoener’s overlap index (0.65), suggesting that there was overlap in the dietary requirements of the two species. This index value, however, was probably not an indication of competition for food between these two species because they exploited abundant food sources.
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