Dietary habits of juveniles of the Mayan cichlid, Cichlasoma urophthalmus, in mangrove ponds of an offshore islet in Belize, Central America

Por Vaslet, Amandine & C. France, C.C. Baldwin, I.C. Feller

Neotropical Ichthyology, v. 10(n. 3), pp. 667-674 (2012). DOI: 10.1590/S1679-62252012000300021


" Foraging habitats of juveniles of the Mayan cichlid, Cichlasoma urophthalmus (Günther, 1862), were investigated in two mangrove ponds located in Twin Cays offshore islet in Belize: Sink Hole pond (SH) and Hidden Lake pond (HL). Sink Hole pond is a semiclosed body of water, whereas Hidden Lake pond is connected by a channel to adjacent seagrass beds that surround the islet. Gut contents of 21 juvenile C. urophthalmus (9.8-13.2 cm total length) were analyzed, and five prey taxa were identified. In both mangrove ponds, C. urophthalmus were opportunistic carnivores and consumed primarily crustaceans. Plant material and detritus present in gut contents were most likely ingested incidentally when the fish foraged on small invertebrates. Carbon isotopic values of fish specimens from the two ponds were similar (mean ± SD of -19.2 ± 0.4‰ in SH and -19.4 ± 0.4‰ in HL), and were close to those of mangrove prey (mean ± SD = -20.2 ± 1.5‰), suggesting that this fish species forages in this habitat. Mixing models showed a higher contribution of mangrove food sources to the fish diet than seagrass food sources. This study reveals that young Mayan cichlids, inhabiting two Belize mangrove ponds, are generalists and opportunistic carnivores that forage on mangrove food sources and do not appear to move to adjacent seagrass beds to complement their diets. Understanding trophic linkages between aquatic consumers and food resources may contribute to better management of threatened coastal ecosystems "

Clasificación: Comportamiento, Centro y norte -américa.

Idioma: English

Vaslet, Amandine & C. France, C.C. Baldwin, I.C. Feller. 2012. "Dietary habits of juveniles of the Mayan cichlid, Cichlasoma urophthalmus, in mangrove ponds of an offshore islet in Belize, Central America". Neotropical Ichthyology. v. 10(n. 3), pp. 667-674 (crc06324) (resumen)