Food Habits and Feeding Periodicity of the Rainbow, Fantail, and Banded Darters in Four Mile Creek

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Stomach analyses were carried out on 3 darter species {Etheostoma caeruleum, E. flabellare and E. zonale) from Four Mile Creek, Ohio, May 1973-May 1974. These species are mainly insectivorous in this stream. Trichopterans were the most important food type by weight in the diets of E. caeruleum and E. flabellare; chironomid larvae and pupae and Simulium sp. dominated the diet of E. zonale. Electivity indices indicated a general selection for Simulium sp. and Trichoptera by E. caeruleum and E. flabellare, with E. zonale selecting against all trichopterans. Feeding activity of the 3 species was largely confined to the daylight hours, and 2 feeding peaks were generally observed for E. caeruleum and E. flabellare: one in the morning and the other in late afternoon or early evening. Over a 24 hr period, E. zonale consumed smaller quantities of food than the other species and exhibited no feeding maxima.


Author Institution: Department of Zoology, Miami University



The Ohio Journal of Science. v77, n4 (July-August, 1977), 164-169