The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa

Abstract of Publication

Ngatunga, B.P., and E.H. Allison. 1996. Food consumption/biomass ratios of the pelagic fish community of Lake Malawi/Niassa. Naga 19 (4): 36-42. [Naga: the ICLARM quarterly. Manila: International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management. ISSN: 0116-290X.]  

An empirical model relating food requirements to morphometric indices of metabolic rate was used to calculate consumption/biomass ratios (Q/B) for 16 species of fish that make the pelagic fish community in Lake Malawi/Niassa. The Q/B/year varied from 3.31 to 9.82, with the large catfish (Dinotopterus nyasensis) having the lowest and a small cyprinid (Engraulicypris sardella) having the highest Q/B ratio. Direct estimates of Q/B for four of the most abundant species, based on analysis of diel feeding patterns, ranged from 4.20 to 24.70; the extreme values in this range representing replicate studies on the same species, the predatory cichlid Rhamphochromis longiceps. Previous studies that indicated exceptionally low Q/B ratios (1.0) in pelagic cichlids from Lake Malawi are not supported by this more recent work.




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