Food and Feeding Habits of the Straightfin Barb Barbus Paludinosus (Peters, 1852) (Pisces: Cyprinidae) in Lake Ziway, Ethiopia


  • Elias Dadebo Department of Biology
  • Adem Mohammed
  • Solomon Sorsa


B. paludinosus, Diet composition, Fish feeding habit, Lake Ziway, Ontogenetic diet shifts.


The feeding habits of the straightfin barb Barbus paludinosus
was studied in Lake Ziway, Ethiopia, from 504 gut samples collected from
April to May (dry months) and July to August (wet months) of the year 2011.
Gut contents were analyzed using the frequency of occurrence and
volumetric analysis methods. Insects and detritus were the dominant food
items and they occurred in 86.3% and 93.5%, and constituted 47.3% and
38.0%, of the total volume of food items, respectively. Macrophytes,
phytoplankton, zooplankton and ostracods occurred in 36.1%, 40.3%, 32.7%
and 15.5% of fish guts and volumetrically they constituted 4.8%, 4.7%, 3.9%
and 1.3% of the food items, respectively. Insects, detritus and zooplankton
were important food categories in the dry season while detritus, insects and
phytoplankton dominated in the wet season. Insects were the dominant food
items in all size classes followed by detritus. The proportion of macrophytes
increased with size of fish while the importance of detritus and zooplankton
declined with fish size. Based on these results, it was concluded that B.
paludinosus in Lake Ziway has an omnivorous habit.