Seasonal variation in the diet and the morphometric parameters of the genus Pseudo-phoxinus sp. (Cyprinidae) in Eastern Algeria

  • S. Salhi University of Laghouat
  • R. Chaibi University of Laghouat
  • H. Badache University of Tunis El Manar
  • M. Hamidouche Research Center in Industrial Technologies CRTI
  • R. Laouar Badji Mokhtar University
Keywords: fish nutrition; biometric parameters; seasonal variation; El Mellah ravine

Abstract

The diet and the morphometric parameters of the Pseudophoxinus sp. (Cyprinidae) in the El Mellah ravine (M’sila, Algeria) were studied by determining body measurements and analyzing the contents of digestive tracts of 320 fish from December 2018 to November 2019. The obtained results show marked diversity within the fish species diets, which can be grouped into three main fractions: (i) a plant fraction; (ii) an animal fraction composed mainly of invertebrate prey; and (iii) fraction consisting of fish eggs (digested by males during the breeding season). The plant fraction was present in all the analyzed digestive tracts, mainly being composed of phytoplankton (algae), namely, Spirogyra sp., Melosira sp. and Navicula sp. with the total relative abundances of 38.7%, 34.4% and 4.1%, respectively. On the other hand, the animal fraction was represented by the Chironomus sp., Austrosimulium sp., and Ecdyonurus sp. dipterans with a total relative abundance of 7.3%, 6.7% and 5.9%, respectively. Pseudophoxinus sp. eggs can also be considered as part of this fraction with the total relative abundance of 2.9%. The age of the fish seems to have an influence on their feeding behaviour. The juveniles of Pseudophoxinus sp. in the study area had a purely phytophagous diet, while adults showed a phytophagous behaviour with an omnivorous tendency. The present study shows that not only the age of the fish but also the seasonal changes (climatic conditions and entry into the breeding season) may have a significant influence on the diet and morphometric parameters of Pseudophoxinus sp. in El Mellah ravine.

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Published
2021-10-27
Section
Articles