Abstract
FOOD AND FEEDING HABIT OF PUNTIUS FILAMENTOSUS (VALENCIENNES, 1844) IN THE MEENACHIL RIVER, KERALA

*K. S. Anila Kumary and Alveena Sebastian

ABSTRACT

Fishes consume different kinds of food and they differ greatly in the nature of food they consume. Food and feeding habits of fishes is largely influenced by their habitat. The present investigation is on the food and feeding habits of the spotted barb Puntius filamentosus in the Meenachil River, Kerala. The study revealed that the fish is a planktophagus omnivore feeding mainly on chlorophyceans. Plant matter was found to be the major food item in all size categories of fishes analysed. No considerable seasonal variations in the types of food consumed by the fish and in the feeding intensity during the post and pre monsoon months. The young ones were more active feeders than the larger size groups. The consistent occurrence of sand and mud throughout the study period indicates that the species is a bottom grazer as well. Variation in the diet according to the size of fish indicates small changes in the preference of food items in different size categories which may favour to avoid direct competition for food between the smaller and larger size groups.

Keywords: Puntius filamentosus, Meenachil River, feeding intensity, RLG, stomach contents.


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