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Feeding chronology of juvenile piranhas, Pygocentrus notatus, in the Venezuelan llanos

January 1, 1990

During the 1988 rainy season, I studied the 24 h feeding chronology of juvenile (40–68 mm standard length) piranhas, Pygocentrus notatus (Characidae: Serrasalminae) from a natural population inhabiting a small savanna stream in Apure State, Venezuela. Stomach contents analyses, supported by laboratory determinations of digestion rate, showed that these fish are primarily diurnal carnivores. Predatory activity on 4–5 August 1988 increased markedly after sunrise, peaked around 1100 h, and essentially stopped after sunset. Means of stomach content weight-to-fish weight ratios among the periods sampled were significantly different. Small fish were the major prey at all hours (81% of total prey volume). Underlying factors responsible for the observed 24 h feeding patterns were not investigated, but avoidance of predation by adult piranhas, which were very active near sunset, may have been important.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1990
Title Feeding chronology of juvenile piranhas, <i>Pygocentrus notatus</i>, in the Venezuelan llanos
DOI 10.1007/BF00000568
Authors L.G. Nico
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Biology of Fishes
Series Number
Index ID 1008562
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Florida Integrated Science Center