In the present study we aimed to compare the feeding ecology of Hypostomus punctatus from a coastal stream from Southeast Brazil with data previously published for the same study site before environmental changes. Feeding preferences were assessed through a sample of 138 specimens (67 from the dry and 71 from the rainy season) using the Index of Alimentary Importance (IAi). We registered five different food items (detritus, plant fragments, Diatoms, Chloroficeae and Cianobacteries) composing the species diet. Detritus was the most abundant one both during the rainy and dry seasons (IAirainny = 90.34 and IAidry = 96.30). No significant differences were registered for the volume of food items consumed during the rainy and dry seasons. The Frequency of Occurrence analysis showed that four (detritus, plant fragments, Diatoms and Chloroficeae) among the five all other consumed ones, were always frequent. Comparing our own results with those available for the study site, we suggest that the feeding habit of H. punctatus has changed according to environmental changes and that the species diet is strongly dependent upon environmental conditions.
stream-dwelling fish; detritivorous; benthonic behaviour