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Feeding and Food Habits of the Spring Cavefish, Chologaster agassizi

Loren G. Hill
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 82, No. 1 (Jul., 1969), pp. 110-116
DOI: 10.2307/2423821
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2423821
Page Count: 7
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Feeding and Food Habits of the Spring Cavefish, Chologaster agassizi
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Abstract

The feeding behavior of the spring cavefish, Chologaster agassizi, appears to involve thigmotactic, taste, and neuromast receptors. Sight presumably is excluded and olfaction is of minor importance in food seeking. Stomach analyses of 1920 young-of-year specimens collected from the cave revealed 99.9% of the stomachs to be empty; however, of the 1097 specimens collected from surface habitats, only 13% of the stomachs were empty. Chologaster was found to represent 99.9% of the total volume of food consumed by the 146 adult fish secured from the cave, but only 6.4% of the total volume of food eaten by the 427 adult specimens taken from the epigean environment. Young-of-year spring cavefish appear to be unable to survive in caves; however, adult cavefish compensate for the scarcity of food in the subterranean environment by their cannibalistic behavior.

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