Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences Paper

Vol 10, Issue 3, 2008; Page No.(469-476)

DIEL FEEDING PERIODICITY OF THE INTERTIDAL MUDSKIPPER, PERIOPHTHALMLIS BARBARLIS (GOBIIDAE) IN IMO RIVER ESTUARY, NIGERIA

MFON T. UD0 IMABONG E. EKPO AND BASSEY E. AKPAN

Abstract

Between March, 2004 and April, 2005, diel feeding periodicity of the mudskipper, Periophthairnus barbarus was studied. A total of 734 specimens were examined. Out of this, 50 specimens (6.8%: size 5.3 - 12.9 cm TL) were collected at dawn; 425 (57.9%: 3.6 - 15.6cm TL) were caught during day; 100 (13.6%: 5.0 --14.3 cm TL) were obtained at dusk and 159 (12.7%: 5.0 - 14.0 cm TL) were taken in the night. There was marked diel difference in the proportions of some food objects (2 way ANOVA, P<0.05). While some of the food objects were not ingested at certain periods, a complete array of the major dietaries were eaten during the day. There was constancy in diel diets (S = 58.9%). Diel variation in index of biotal dispersity was high (IBD = 72.1%). Diel changes in diet diversity and equally common dietaries were highest and lowest during day and night respectively. The mudskipper is considered as crepuscular in feeding habit evidenced by the increased feeding intensity at dawn and dusk. Did l utilization of food resources overwhelmly revealed that the mudskipper is an omnivore. We conclude that, the two process, light and tide might have influenced the did l feeding periodivity of the mudskipper, in the estuary.

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