THE FOOD AND FEEDING HABITS OF THE AFRICAN CATFISH, CLARIAS GARIEPINUS (BURCHELL, 1822) (PISCES: CLARIIDAE) IN LAKE HAWASSA AND SHALLO SWAMP, ETHIOPIA

  • Yosef Tekle-Giorgis
  • Solomon Wagaw
  • Elias Dadebo

Abstract

Feeding habits of the African catfish Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822) was studied based on 252 and 211 fish specimen collected from Lake Hawassa and Shallo swamp during dry and wet months of 2011. C. gariepinus in Lake Hawassa consumed insects (21% by volume), fish eggs (18.3%), fish (18.1%), gastropods (14.4%), macrophytes (13.6%), detritus (8.4%), zooplankton (2.6%), phytoplankton (1.7%), ostracods (0.7%), nematodes (0.5%) and fish scales (0.5%). In Shallo swamp, the fish mainly fed on macrophytes (31.7% by volume) and detritus (31.5%). Insects (12.2%), amphibians (9.5%), zooplankton (5.3%) and phytoplankton (4.9%) had also some contribution, while fish eggs, gastropods, ostracods, water mites and nematodes had insignificant contribution to the diet. Seasonal variation in the diet of C. gariepinus was slight in both habitats. Ontogenetic dietary shift was observed in Lake Hawassa. Smaller size C. gariepinus (<45 cm TL) in Lake Hawassa fed mainly on insects, fish and fish eggs and their importance decreased as the fish size increased while large sized C. gariepinus (>45 cm TL) tended to filter-feed more on zooplankton. All size groups of C. gariepinus in Shallo swamp mainly fed on macrophytes and detritus. Generally C. gariepinus in both habitats fed on food of plant and animal origin albeit in varying proportions, and the fish can be considered as omnivorous in its feeding habit.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Bagenal, T.B. (1978). Eggs and early life history. In: Methods for Assessment of Fish Production in Freshwaters. IBP Handbook No. 3, pp.165–201 (Bagenal, T.B., ed.). Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, London.
Bowen, S.H. (1978). Quantitative description of the diet. In: Fisheries Techniques, pp. 325−336 (Nielsen, L.A. and Johnson, D.L., eds.). Maryland, Bethesda.
Bruton, M.N. (1979). The food and feeding behavior of Clarias gariepinus (Pisces: Clariidae) in Lake Sibaya, South Africa, with emphasis on its role as a predator of cichlids. Trans. Zool. Soc. Lond. 35: 47–114.
Clay, D. (1979). Population biology, growth and feeding of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) with special reference to juvenile and their importance in fish culture. Arch. Hydrobiol. Suppl. 87(4): 453–482.
Daba Tugie and Meseret Taye (2004). Reproductive biology and feeding habits of Clarias gariepinus in Lake Zwai, Ethiopia. In: The Role of Agricultural Universities in Ethiopia: Challenges and Opportunities, pp. 199–208. Proceedings of 13th National Conference of Ethiopian Society of Animal Production, Addis Ababa.
Daniel Gamachu (1977). Aspects of Climate and Water Budget in Ethiopia. Addis Ababa University Press, Addis Ababa.
Demeke Admassu, Lemma Abera and Zenebe Tadesse (2015). The food and feeding habits of the African catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Burchell), in Lake Babogaya, Ethiopia. Global J. Fish. Aquac. 3(4): 211–220.
More inside the PDF
Published
2016-03-07
How to Cite
TEKLE-GIORGIS, Yosef; WAGAW, Solomon; DADEBO, Elias. THE FOOD AND FEEDING HABITS OF THE AFRICAN CATFISH, CLARIAS GARIEPINUS (BURCHELL, 1822) (PISCES: CLARIIDAE) IN LAKE HAWASSA AND SHALLO SWAMP, ETHIOPIA. Ethiopian Journal of Biological Sciences, [S.l.], v. 15, n. 1, p. 1 - 18, mar. 2016. ISSN 1819-8678. Available at: <http://ejol.aau.edu.et/index.php/EJBS/article/view/1252>. Date accessed: 19 july 2019.
Please advise your journal citation style before using the above citation format, you can also find your citation style from citation formats listed down.