Lost zooplanktivorous cichlid from Lake Victoria reappears with a new trade

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2003
Authors:J. Zoutendijk, Katunzi, E. F. B. , Goldschmidt, T. , Wanink, J. H. , Witte, F.
Journal:Ecology of Freshwater Fish
Date Published:Dec
Accession Number:5801454
Keywords:Africa, Victoria L., Africa, Victoria L., Mwanza Gulf, Article Geographic Terms:, Article Subject Terms: Cichlid, Article Taxonomic Terms: Cichlidae, D 04668 Fish, Decapoda, Diets, Ecosystems, Feeding Behavior, Feeding behaviour, Food organisms, Freshwater, Freshwater fish, Gulfs, Haplochromis pyrrhocephalus, Lakes, Mollusca, molluscs, Mollusks, Perch, Q1 01425 Nutrition and feeding habits, Shrimp, Stomach content, SW 0850 Lakes, ZOOPLANKTON

The zooplanktivorous cichlid Haplochromis pyrrhocephalus, which was one of the most common haplochromine species in the Mwanza Gulf of Lake Victoria, had almost completely disappeared after the Nile perch upsurge in the 1980s. In the second half of the 1990s, this species suddenly reappeared in the strongly changed ecosystem. Gut content investigation revealed a change in diet. Currently, H. pyrrhocephalus eats large prey more frequently than in the past. These large prey comprise fish, shrimps and molluscs. The latter two were never encountered in specimens from the past. Particularly feeding on molluscs was unexpected, as it had been suggested that, because of anatomical constraints, molluscivory and zooplanktivory are incompatible in cichlid fish. Our observations provide a new example of the extreme versatility in feeding behaviour in haplochromine cichlids.

Alternate Journal:Ecol. Freshwat. Fish

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