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Diel diet of fantail darter in a tributary to Lake Ontario, New York, USA

Chalupnicki, Marc A., Johnson, James H.
Journal of Freshwater Ecology 2016 v.31 no.4 pp. 659-664
Chironomidae, Ephemeroptera, Etheostoma, diet, fish, foraging, larvae, predation, rivers, streams, Lake Ontario, New York
The foraging behavior of benthic fishes in streams is seldom examined but is vital to the health of the aquatic community. We examined the feeding ecology of the fantail darter (Etheostoma flaballere) in Trout Brook, a tributary of the Salmon River in central New York, USA. Of the six time periods examined, fantail darters fed most intensely from 1600–2000 h, with ephemeropterans the major prey consumed during all time periods except for 2000 where chironomid larvae were consumed the most. Fantail darter diet composition was similar across all time periods except during the night which appeared to be uniquely different. According to the prey selection analysis, fantail darters appear to prefer dipterans and ephemeropterans but also demonstrated an opportunistic behavior feeding on what was available in the brook.