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Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Original Article

Seasonal variation on diet of juvenile Elops saurus Linnaeus, 1766 (Ladyfish) in the Parnaiba River Delta

Variação sazonal na dieta dos jovens de Elops saurus Linnaeus, 1766 (Ubarana) no Delta do Rio Parnaíba

Tatiane Araujo Santos; Thamires Souza Gonçalves; Patricia Silva do Nascimento; Cézar Augusto Freire Fernandes; Francisca Edna de Andrade Cunha

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Abstract: : Aim: Identify seasonal variations in the diet of juvenile living in the estuary of the Parnaíba River Delta.

Methods: Food items were identified through analysis of stomach contents, and later submitted to analysis by regular methods for Frequency of Occurrence (FO), Frequency Numerical (FN), Gravimetric Frequency (FW) and Relative Importance Index (IRI).

Results: Juvenile diet of Elops saurus that inhabit the lagoons in the Parnaíba delta was composed in order decreasing of importance by Osteichthyes (Teleostei), Insecta and Crustacea in addition to Polychaeta and Nematoda. It was also observed a high frequency of occurrence of fragments of plastics in the diet. In the rainy season, 17 items were recorded in the diet, whereas in the dry season only 7 items were present. Relative Importance Index showed high presence of the Teleostei fish (69.93%) on diet of E. saurus during the rainy season, whereas during the dry period the insects of the families Corixidae (43.25%) and Dysticidae (39.16%).

Conclusions: With the study it was possible to identify that juvenile are piscivorous in the rainy season when there is a higher availability of prey in the environment and insectivores in the dry season when it reduces the supply of food, indicating feeding flexibility to environmental alterations.


feeding, carnivory, feeding flexibility, Elops saurus


Resumo: : Objetivo: Identificar variações sazonais na dieta de jovens que vivem no estuário do Delta do Rio Parnaíba.

Métodos: Os itens alimentares foram identificados através da análise do conteúdo estomacal, e depois submetidos à análise pelos métodos Frequência de Ocorrência (FO), Frequência Numérica (FN), Frequência gravimétrica (FW) e Índice de Importância Relativa (IRI).

Resultados: A dieta dos jovens de Elops saurus que habitam as lagoas no delta do Parnaíba foi composta em ordem decrescente de importância por Osteichthyes (Teleostei), Insecta e Crustacea, além de Polychaeta e Nematoda. Também foi registrada elevada frequência de ocorrência de fragmentos de plásticos na dieta. Na estação chuvosa, 17 itens foram registrados na dieta, enquanto que na estação seca apenas 7 itens estavam presentes. O Índice de Importância Relativa evidenciou a importância dos peixes Teleostei (69,93%) na dieta de E. saurus na estação chuvosa, enquanto que, no período Seco destacaram-se os insetos das Famílias Corixidae (43,25%) e Dysticidae (39,16%).

Conclusões: Com o estudo foi possível identificar que os jovens são carnívoros, especificamente, piscívoros na estação chuvosa quando ocorre maior disponibilidade de presas no ambiente e insetívoros na estação seca, quando reduz a oferta de alimento, evidenciando uma flexibilidade alimentar frente às alterações ambientais.


alimentação, carnivoria, flexibilidade alimentar, Elops saurus


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