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Neotropical Ichthyology

Print version ISSN 1679-6225On-line version ISSN 1982-0224

Abstract

JUCA-CHAGAS, Ricardo  and  BOCCARDO, Lilian. The air-breathing cycle of Hoplosternum littorale (Hancock, 1828)(Siluriformes: Callichthyidae). Neotrop. ichthyol. [online]. 2006, vol.4, n.3, pp.371-373. ISSN 1982-0224.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1679-62252006000300009.

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.

Keywords : Respiratory organ; Tamboatá; Behavior; Body size; Intestine.

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