Food and Feeding Habits of Three Selected Fish Species of Lower River Benue, Benue State, Nigeria


Feeding habits


This study aimed to investigate the food and feeding habits of three fish species: Hydrocynus forskahlii, Citharinus citharus, and Mormyrus rume, caught from the Lower River Benue. Currently, there is not enough information available on the feeding habits of these fish species in the Lower River Benue.  The study examined 189 Hydrocynus forskahlii from Abinsi, 214 from Wadata station, 372 Citharinus citharus from Abinsi, 366 from Wadata, and 384 and 363 Mormyrus rume from Abinsi and Wadata, respectively, using gill and cast nets. Specimens were collected every two weeks from fishermen in the Lower River Benue between April 2019 and March 2020. The study measured gut weight and length, performed gut content analysis using the frequency of occurrence, numerical abundance, and total point methods, identified food items, and obtained the stomach vacuity index. Results showed that H. forskahlii mainly feeds on worms, insect parts, and juvenile fish. C. citharus feeds mainly on detritus and plant materials, while M. rume feeds predominantly on detritus, plant materials, worms, and whole fish. H. forskahlii and C. citharus have higher percentages of food in their stomachs from Wadata, while M. rume had it from Abinsi. In conclusion, H. forskahlii is confirmed to be a carnivorous species, while C. citharus and M. rume are omnivorous species.



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