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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


SCOTT, SERGIO; PARDO, RODRIGO  and  VILA, IRMA. Trophic niche overlap between two Chilean endemic species of Trichomycterus (Teleostei: Siluriformes). Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2007, vol.80, n.4, pp.431-437. ISSN 0716-078X.

Trichomycterus areolatus and Trichomycterus chiltoni are endemic siluriform fishes of Chile. They are the only Chilean species of this genus that live in sympatry and coexist in the Biobio basin. High trophic niche overlap between both species was found. Horn's index varied from 0.668 to 0.885 among seasons, without significant differences, and Schoener's index varied from 0.639 to 0.912. Also the discriminant analysis showed no significant differences in prey item between the two species. Trophic composition of T. chiltoni and T. areolatus consisted mainly in chironomid larvae and other aquatic invertebrates. At all seasons T. chiltoni showed the greatest prey richness. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed a high similarity between diets of T. areolatus and T. chiltoni. These diet scores were significantly related with body size in T. chiltoni whereas T. areolatus showed a significant relationship with seasons. This may indicate a generalist strategy in T. areolatus by varying its diet in function of available prey items in each season, whereas T. chiltoni would be specialized in relation to individual size and intraspecific habitat partitioning

Keywords : diet; sympatry; Trichomycterus areolatus; Trichomycterus chiltoni.

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