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Greener Journal of  Biological Sciences Vol. 3 (6), pp. 244-252, August 2013.

 © 2011 Greener Journals

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 072913761

 

Diet Composition and Condition Factor of Ethmalosa fimbriata in the Cross River Estuary

 

*George U. U., Idung J. U., Andem A. B., Okorafor K. A.,

Mowang D.

 

Department of Zoology & Environmental Biology, University of Calabar, Calabar.

 

*Correspondence Author’s Email: gboy4Jesus @ yahoo.com,

 Phone: 08032625310


Abstract:

The food and feeding habits of Ethmalosa fimbriata in the Cross River Estuary was studied between November and January, 2011. Result revealed that the species feed mostly on food from plant origin, although food from animal materials was also identified. A total of 120 plant materials (31.49%) were consumed by the species, algae 58 (15.22%), diatoms 44 (11.54%), Food from animal origin encounter in the gut of the species as incidental diets components included fish eggs 22 (5.71%), fish scales 14 (3.67%), fish bones 17 (4.95%), and Aquatic insects part 40 (10.49%). Unidentified food items encountered in the gut of the species during the study were 16 (3.67%), mud/sand particles 50 (13.12%) and detritus which could not be enumerated. The condition factor calculated for the species varied during the studies period with a mean value of 2.0 in November, 3.10 in December and 1.98 in January. Based on the food items isolated in the gut, the species could be considered as a voracious herbivore in the Cross River Estuary. While the variation in the condition factor of the species in the Estuary may indicate a period of high yield or otherwise of the species in the system.

Keywords: Ethmalosa fimbriata, Diet composition, Condition factor, Cross River Estuary, Nigeria.

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