Biology of non-native species (Rhaphiodon vulpinus Agassiz, 1829) (Characiformes, Cynodontidae) in a cage fish farm area, Upper Paraná River Basin, Brazil
Biologia de espécie não-nativa (Rhaphiodon vulpinus Agassiz, 1829, Characiformes, Cynodontidae) em área de piscicultura em tanques-rede, Bacia do Alto Rio Paraná, Brasil
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Aim: To assess the dietary, populational and parasitological aspects of the non-native wild species Rhaphiodon vulpinus in an area under the influence of cage fish farm, in the Ilha Solteira Reservoir, S⭠Paulo State. Methods: Fifty-one specimens of R. vulpinus were captured bimonthly, from September 2014 to August 2016, with gill nets with different mesh sizes, in area surrounding a cage fish farm and area not influenced by this activity. The specimens were quantified and their mass (g) and standard length (cm) measured. The stomachs were analyzed with a stereomicroscope and the food items were quantified using the gravimetric method. The parasites were collected during necropsy and their prevalence, mean intensity of infection and mean abundance were subsequently calculated. Results: There were changes in feeding activity regarding the area, with greater numbers of individuals with stomach contents in the areas under the influence of fish farm. However, diet composition did not change between the areas analyzed, with prey represented by small fish, such as Geophagus sveni, and shrimps. In the fish farm area there was also a decrease in abundance and an increase in the total mass of the individuals, while there was no difference in standard length between the areas. In terms of parasitological aspects, low parasitic indexes and the absence of differences between the areas were observed. The first report of the monogenean Notozothecium lamotheargumedoi in the Ilha Solteira reservoir is also presented. Conclusions: The cage fish farm affected some aspects of the population and the food intake of R. vulpinus. Furthermore, the parasite-host relationship demonstrated that phylogenetic specificities had a greater effect than aquaculture activity on R. vulpinus in the fish farm area.
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