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Diet and Food Consumption of the African Catfish, Chrysichthys nigrodigitatus Lacépède (1803) (Siluriformes: Claroteidae), from the Hydrosystem Lake Togo-Lagoon of Aného (South of Togo)

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Document pages: 23 pages

Abstract: Catfishes belonging to the genus Chrysichthys are generally important fish species in inland water bodies of Africa because of their high commercial value. Among them, C. nigrodigitatus could represent, at certain periods of the year the highest biomass of the littoral ichthyofauna, accounting for 17 to 43.8 of total catches. In this paper, its diet in the hydrosystem Lake Togo-Lagoon of Aného was investigated focusing on how differences in diet and food consumption are related to size, season and sexual maturity. A total of 195 males and 137 females were sampled from January to December 2017. The digestive tract of each individual was dissected and its content was analyzed, using indexes of stomach contents analysis method. Diet variability in relation to season and biometric parameters was also studied. About 99 stomachs were empty with an overall vacuity index of 29.82 . However, vacuity index was found to vary in relation to fish size and months. The fish has been found to be omnivorous with a carnivorous tendency consuming a wide range of prey items (H = 3.34). Juvenile and adult freshwater clams (Galatea paradoxa) were the numerical dominant preys ( N = 44 ) while the penaeid shrimps (Farfantepenaeus notialis) with an annual frequency of occurrence (Fo) of 49.36 and all species confused of fish (33.91 ) were the most preferred preys. The index of relative importance (IRI) reveals that freshwater clam (40.49 ), penaeid shrimps (35.85 ) and all species confused of fish (14.58 ) were the most important preys of C. nigrodigitatus. The dominance of Malacostraca and Mollusca in the diet of C. nigrodigitatus in the hydrosystem Lake Togo-Lagoon of Aného is likely one of the more important considerations for future management plans.

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