oa African Zoology - Stomach content analyses of Gilchristella aestuarius and Hepsetia breviceps from the Swartvlei system and Groenvlei, southern Cape

Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



Over the period October 1978 to April 1979 a total of 180 specimens of the estuarine round-herring Gilchristella aestuarius and 218 specimens of the Cape silverside Hepsetia breviceps were collected for stomach content analysis in the Swartvlei system and Groenvlei on the southern Cape coast. The diets of these two species were found to be fairly similar, with crustaceans forming their main food source in both water bodies. G. aestuarius appears to filter feed throughout most of its length range, although the bigger food items are probably actively caught. Young H. breviceps also filter feeds, but it seems to catch most of its food actively as it grows older. Some H. breviceps consumed adult polychaetes and tube-dwelling amphipods covered by sand particles, indicating that these were probably removed from the substrate.

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