The air-breathing cycle of Hoplosternum littorale (Hancock, 1828)(Siluriformes: Callichthyidae)

Ricardo Jucá-Chagas Lilian Boccardo About the authors

Hoplosternum littorale is a continuous air breather, which uses a portion of its intestine to extract oxygen from inspired air. Its air-breathing behavior occurs in four phases: 1) ascent to the water surface; 2) mouth emergence with expansion of the oral cavity for air inspiration; 3) downward swimming and oral cavity compression resulting in air swallowing and the expiration of old air from the anus; 4) return to bottom. The time required to complete the air-breathing cycle was significantly shorter for small fish compared to large fish.

Respiratory organ; Tamboatá; Behavior; Body size; Intestine

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