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Following food clouds: feeding association between a minute loricariid and a characidiin species in an Atlantic Forest stream, Southeastern Brazil

Rafael P. Leitão Érica P. Caramaschi Jansen Zuanon About the authors

Following behavior is a widespread feeding tactic among marine fishes, but remains poorly documented for freshwater fishes. The present study describes such association between two freshwater species: the minute armored catfish Parotocinclus maculicauda and the South American darter Characidium sp. During underwater observations in an Atlantic Forest stream, we recorded Characidium sp. closely following P. maculicauda (<5cm), catching the particles dislodged by this catfish's grazing activity. The following behavior displayed by the darter is considered opportunistic and possibly favors the capture of preys associated to the periphyton. This study is one of the few records of nuclear-follower feeding association between freshwater fishes and the first one in Atlantic Forest streams.

Following behavior; foraging habits; freshwater; Hypoptopomatinae; Crenuchidae

Sociedade Brasileira de Ictiologia Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Núcleo de Pesquisas em Limnologia, Ictiologia e Aquicultura/Coleção Ictiologia, Av. Colombo, 5790, 87020-900 Maringá, PR, Brasil, Tel.: (55 44)3011 4632 - Maringá - PR - Brazil