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Feeding chronology of juvenile piranhas, Pygocentrus notatus, in the Venezuelan llanos

Environmental Biology of Fishes

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DOI: 10.1007/BF00000568

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Abstract

During the 1988 rainy season, I studied the 24 h feeding chronology of juvenile (40–68 mm standard length) piranhas, Pygocentrus notatus (Characidae: Serrasalminae) from a natural population inhabiting a small savanna stream in Apure State, Venezuela. Stomach contents analyses, supported by laboratory determinations of digestion rate, showed that these fish are primarily diurnal carnivores. Predatory activity on 4–5 August 1988 increased markedly after sunrise, peaked around 1100 h, and essentially stopped after sunset. Means of stomach content weight-to-fish weight ratios among the periods sampled were significantly different. Small fish were the major prey at all hours (81% of total prey volume). Underlying factors responsible for the observed 24 h feeding patterns were not investigated, but avoidance of predation by adult piranhas, which were very active near sunset, may have been important.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Feeding chronology of juvenile piranhas, Pygocentrus notatus, in the Venezuelan llanos
Series title:
Environmental Biology of Fishes
DOI:
10.1007/BF00000568
Volume:
29
Year Published:
1990
Language:
English
Publisher:
Springer
Contributing office(s):
Florida Integrated Science Center
Description:
7 p.
First page:
51
Last page:
57
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N