Feeding ecology of the KA +/- zA +/- lA +/- rmak toothcarp, Aphanius marassantensis: ontogenetic shift and seasonal diet variation

YOĞURTÇUOĞLU B. , Kirankaya S. G. , Gencoglu L., EKMEKÇİ F. G.

ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY OF FISHES, vol.101, no.10, pp.1493-1502, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 101 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10641-018-0794-3
  • Page Numbers: pp.1493-1502


We studied the feeding ecology of an endemic cyprinodontid fish, Aphanius marassantensis (KA +/- zA +/- lA +/- rmak Toothcarp), with special emphasis on seasonal and ontogenetic diet shift. The dietary composition revealed an omnivorous diet with great seasonal and ontogenetic variation. Cladocera and Calanoid Copepods (Diaptomus sp.) dominated the diet in Spring and Summer, whereas the food items of plant origin e.g. filamentous algae and diatoms were the most important components in Autumn and Winter. An ontogenetic diet shift was also demonstrated. While the feeding of juveniles was based mostly on planktonic organisms, adult individuals preferred larger prey taxa, such as Gammarus sp. and Gastropods. There was no significant sex-related variation in feeding with the exception for the volume of gut content. The investigation on the feeding strategy of A. marassantensis suggested a generalised feeding pattern with some specialised individuals. This generalist feeding habits may account for the well-established population of this species in a big reservoir under coexistence of two non-native fish species, Pseudorasbora parva and Atherina boyeri.