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NOVAKOWSKI, Gisele Caroline; FUGI, Rosemara and HAHN, Norma Segatti. Diet and dental development of three species of Roeboides (Characiformes: Characidae). Neotrop. ichthyol. [online]. 2004, vol.2, n.3, pp. 157-162. ISSN 1679-6225. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1679-62252004000300008.
Lepidophagy has been recorded in various species of Roeboides. In this study we analyzed ontogenetic variation in diet and dental development of three Roeboides species (R. paranensis, R. prognathus and R. microlepis). Roeboides paranensis consumed mainly insects, scales and microcrustaceans, and the smaller individuals (<3.4 cm - SL) consumed mostly insects. Scale were only consumed by individuals greater than 3.4 cm. Scales were the dominant item in the diet in all sizes of R. prognathus. The diet of R. microlepis was composed primarily of whole fishes, however, the smaller individuals (<5.4 cm) consumed only insects. During ontogeny, exterior migration of teeth in the mouth started at 3.7 cm in R. paranensis and 6.5 cm in R. microlepis. As body length increased more teeth migrated exteriorly. This leads to greater consumption of scales by three species. Roeboides prognathus appeared to be most specialized on scales, since they composed 80% of the diet, and was the species with the highest number of external teeth and the most developed.
Keywords : Roeboides; lepidophagy; freshwater; reservoir.