Revista Brasileira de Zoologia
versión impresa ISSN 0101-8175
ROCHA, Vlamir J. et al. Feeding habits of the crab-eating fox, Cerdocyon thous (Carnivora: Canidae), in a mosaic area with native and exotic vegetation in Southern Brazil. Rev. Bras. Zool. [online]. 2008, vol.25, n.4, pp.594-600. ISSN 0101-8175. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-81752008000400003.
Cerdocyon thous (Linnaeus, 1766) is the most widespread neotropical canid, most commonly inhabiting forested areas. This animal is a generalist omnivore that is able to use environments disturbed by human activities. The aim of this study was to describe its diet through the stomach content analysis of 30 samples obtained from specimens that were run over in a mosaic composed by Araucaria Pine Forest, Semidecidual Seasonal Forest, natural grasslands, and exotic vegetation. The items were quantified by frequency of occurrence (F.O.) and percentage of occurrence (P.O.). A total of 64 food items were found among 171 occurrences. According to F.O. method, plant items corresponded to 93.3% of the occurrences, followed by animal items (86.7%) and human rejects (16.6%). Among plants, fruits accounted for 92.9% of the occurrences, followed by leaves (53.6%) and flowers (10.7%). Syagrus romanzoffianum (Cham.) Glassman, 1968 and the exotic Hovenia dulcis Thunberg were the most consumed fruits (30% each), and the most consumed leaves were Poaceae. Among preyed animals, the F.O. was 73.3% for invertebrates (mostly Orthoptera and Coleoptera, 36.7% each) and 63.3% for vertebrates (mostly mammals, 33.3%). Regarding the P.O. method, there was an overestimation of invertebrates (98.1%) due to the presence of ants and termites in the stomach of a single individual. In general, C. thous presented its usual diet. Its generalistic feeding habits can positively influence its survival in altered environments. This study also compares different methods for dietary analysis and discusses some opportunistic behaviors of C. thous, such as the consumption of exotic species and the use of silviculture areas as hunting sites.
Palabras clave : Carnivorous; diet; exotic species; frugivory; neotropical canid; silviculture.