Received Date: March 15, 2013; Accepted Date: March 24, 2013; Published Date: June 04, 2013
Citation: Priyadharsini S, Subramaniyan A, Manoharan J, Varadharajan D (2013) Food and Feeding Habits of Red Lionfish Pterois volitans from Cuddalore Coast, South East Coast of India. J Aquac Res Development 4:184. doi:10.4172/2155-9546.1000184
Copyright: © 2013 Priyadharsini S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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The living water jewels have an attractive colored for example a body color, morphology, mode of taking food and have a peculiar characteristic. A number of aquarium fishes the Pterois sp is known to aquarists, while it is easy to breed and very important and interesting tasks of an aquarium keeper is to feed management. Food is playing an important role in maintaining health and preventing diseases. Providing exact diet is essential for fish growth and other activities. Overfeeding or uneaten food contributes to a deteriorating water quality by polluting the water. Some fishes in wild or culturing system are not taken regularly same food and it will be varying due to the inhabitants. The red firefish P. volitans is one of the remarkable fish in marine waters. In the present study, the food and feeding habits of lionfish P.volitans, male and female fishes were observed and due to fishes gut contents were analysis. The different food items were recorded from the guts of P. volitans during the study period. Generally, the food items found in the examined gut contents were grouped into eleven different categories. The male fish of P. volitans stomach contents as identified feed compositions in the following order: viz., Crustaceans >Fish >Zooplankton >Phytoplankton >Miscellaneous >Bivalves >Polychaetes >Gastropods >sand >Nematodes >Digested matter and the female fish of P. volitans stomach contents as identified feed compositions in the following order viz., Crustaceans >Fish >Zooplankton >Phytoplankton >Miscellaneous >Bivalves >Polychaetes >Gastropods >Sand >Nematodes >Digested matter, respectively. The present investigation very much useful for this species to be taken up for aquariums in home or office, hotel, hospital, intensive, semi intensive and mass scale culture practices in anywhere in the world.
Scorpaenidae; P. Volitans; Ultimate world history; Food and feeding habits
The food and feeding habits of fishes attracted the attention of fishery biologist from time immemorial. Foods are a key element for the fishes and the maintaining throughout its life span and their future activities [1-3]. It is extremely important that in derived energy is utilized in many important ways; they help us to grow, become stronger, give us energy, survival and reproduction for all the metabolic activities, cell repair, muscular contractions secretory functions, nerve impulse conduction and build up a stronger immune system and to repair old damaged cells and also the maintenance of proper health [4-10]. Most the fishes have become adapted to a wide variety of food. The knowledge about food and feeding habits of any fishes is important because very much useful for understanding the biology of fishes and have been established and the rate of feeding is stimulating on the spawning of the fish [10,11]. The availability of food in fishes it may be influencing the horizontal and vertical movements of the fish stocks. Food and feeding of different ornamental fishes are being studied throughout the world viz., Kader et al.  has a Gobioides rubicundus from Bangladesh, Priyadharsini et al.  has a Dascyllus trimaculatus from Gulf of Mannar, Rema Madhu et al.  has an ornamentals fish from Mandapam. Morris JA et al.  described lionfish as generalist carnivores that feed on a wide variety of fishes and crustaceans. Visual observations of lionfish on invading reefs indicate that lionfish consume prey at high rates, largely during crepuscular periods . Daily patterns of lionfish behaviour appear to be consistent with reports from the native range, with the species most active and foraging out over habitat during low-light crepuscular periods during dawn and dusk . Though consistent with the longish behavior in the native Indo-Pacific, their hunting extended and are able to approach their prey closely before making a rapid strike. Sometimes, lionfish extrude water jets to orient the prey towards the mouth before striking . Preys are typically consumed whole. During the day, lionfish are often found resting and sheltered under ledges and overhangs, associated with large high-relief structures within the habitat [16,18]. Ambient light levels may significantly affect temporal patterns of lionfish behaviour. Observations of lionfish under variable weather conditions found that activity levels and predation rates during the day were significantly higher during overcast times, when light levels may simulate those of crepuscular dawn and dusk periods . strategy is largely unique among fish predators in the Caribbean. Lionfish hover motionless over prey with their large pectoral fins
The analysis of the gut content provides necessary information regarding their feed preference in the wild and this will be helpful in establishing a diet for faster growth and reproduction in the culture systems and the fishes and food organism in between relationship is essential for the production and exploitation of the fish stocks. In this relationship have been used for the fishery exploited, due to account and the diversity of the species in a particular region of total fishery. The redfirefish P. volitans is a vital source of food for people and are significantly benefitting of social and economic importance. Most people hobby is often concerned about keeping P. volitans an aquarium. Maintenance of healthy aquarium proper feeding is essential and plays a vital role in a particular region. While, the more important to study the food and feeding habits of lion fishes because this helps in mass scale culture and this in turn helps in the conservation of this exotic fish. Hence, the present study has been undertaken to gather information concerning the food and feeding habits of P. volitans.
By using trawl nets the specimens were collected randomly at Cuddalore coast during between January 2012 and December 2012. After collection, the fishes were stored in ice boxes and the stomachs were removed and fixed 10% buffered formalin. The stomach contents were later analyzed in the laboratory. Immediately after the collection the standard length of the fishes was recorded before removing the gut. They were split open by a pair of scissors. After dissecting of the alimentary system, different components of the guts were recorded with the help of zoom dissection binocular microscope. The food items were identified up to the family level wherever possible [13,20]. During the analysis, regurgitated stomach was discarded . Occurrence method is the simplest way of recording the food relating to the number of gut containing one or more individuals of each food item and number were expressed as percentage of all guts those containing food. This method gave the information on the preference of food items [13,20,22].
The P. volitans stomach contents of the available specimens during the study period are presented in Table 1. A total of eleven different food components were recorded in the gut of P. volitans, showing a varying numerical abundance and relative percentage abundance. The stomach contents were recorded the different food materials namely Crustaceans, Fish, Polychaetes, Nematodes, Zooplankton, Phytoplankton, Bivalves, Gastropods, Sand, Digested matter and Miscellaneous (Tables 1-4 and Plate 1).
|10||Egg and Larva||9.5||10.2||6.5||6.9||5.8||10.2||6.3||5.6||6.2||13.2||8.2||5.6|
Table 1: Different food items recorded from the stomachs of P. volitans (January-2012 to December-2012).
|S:No||Food item||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||July||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec||Monthly average|
Table 2: Monthly Variation in the Percentage Composition of Food of Male and Female in P. volitans (January-2012 to December-2012).
|S:No||Food item(Male)||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||July||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec||Monthly average|
Table 3: Monthly Variation in the Percentage Composition of Food of Male P. Volitans (January-2012 to December-2012).
|S:No||Food item(Female)||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||July||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec||Monthly average|
Table 4: Monthly Variation in the Percentage Composition of Food of Female P. volitans (January-2012 to December-2012).
Crustaceans are one of the most important foods of P. volitans occurring in more than 68% of the stomachs during the study periods. The male stomach examined specimens maximum in crustaceans 34.2% was recorded in the month of August followed by 26.3% in June and minimum was 17.1% in the month of July (Figures 1-12). The female highest percentage recorded was 52.6% in the month of June followed by 51.1% in December and the lowest percentage recorded was 34.3% in the month of July (Figures 13-24). Crustaceans formed the most important food item of P. volitans both the males and females and they occurred in the stomachs throughout the year (Plate 2).
The fish was the most important diet of P. volitans in the marine ecosystem, which contributed 63.3% of the total food ingested (Table 2). The examined stomachs its observed maximum in throughout the year. The male maximum percentage occurrence of fish 24.7% was recorded in the month of June followed by 23.1% in January and 22.7% in March and the minimum percentage occurrence of fish 18.2% was recorded in the month of April and 18.5% in July and 19.1% in December (Figure1-12). The female maximum percentage occurrence of fish 49.4 was recorded in the month of June followed by January to March. The minimum 36.4% was recorded in the month of April and 37.0% in July and 38.2% in December (Figures 13-24 and Plate 3).
The next important food items, which were ingested by most P. volitans, were polychaetes (28.7%). It was occurred the examined stomachs of P. volitans in throughout the year. The male maximum percentage occurrence of polychaetes recorded was 21.6% in September and 10.9% in July. The minimum was recorded 5.93% in the month of January (Figure1-12). The female maximum percentage occurrence of polychaetes recorded was 43.3% in October and 21.9% in July and minimum was recorded 11.8% in November and 13.0% in September (Figures 13-24). The polychaetes were observed that in summer the maximum of stomachs was having only tube-dwelling polychaetes in them (Plate 4).
The examined stomachs can be observed that nematodes formed the most important food item of P. volitans during the study period. The male maximum percentage occurrence of nematodes recorded was 3.46% in April and 10.8% in May and minimum was recorded 5.7% in December (Figure 1-12). The female maximum percentage occurrence of nematodes recorded was 21.6% in the month of May and 18.4% in July and minimum was recorded 11.9% in the month of December and 13.2% in October (Figures 13-24 and Plate 5).
Zooplanktons were the most important diet of P. volitans, it was observed throughout the year during the study period. The male maximum percentage occurrence of zooplankton recorded was 19.7% in the month of August and 19.0% in December. The minimum was recorded 16.2% in the month of February and 16.4% in March (Figures 1-12). The female maximum percentage occurrence of zooplankton recorded was 39.4% the month of August and 38.0% in December. The minimum was recorded 32.4% in the month of February and 32.8% in March (Figures 13-24 and Plate 6).
It’s formed the significantly are an important item of food of both the males and females of P. volitans, occurred in the stomachs throughout the year. This food constituent was dominant between post monsoon and monsoon. The male maximum percentage occurrence of phytoplankton recorded was 15.3% in the month of March and 15.2% in January. The minimum was recorded 12.5% in the month of April (Figures 1-12). The female maximum percentage occurrence of phytoplankton recorded was 30.53% in the month of March and 30.33% in January. The minimum was recorded 25.0% in April (Figures 13-24 and Plate 7).
Its young stages, shells and larvae were observed in the examined stomach off P. volitans. The male average contribution was 10.98% of the food composition. The maximum of 20.9% in the month of June and minimum value of 8.43% was recorded in the month of March (Figures 1-12). The female average contribution was 21.9% of the food composition. The maximum of 41.8% in the month of June and minimum value of 16.87% was recorded in the month of March (Figure 13-24 and Plate 8).
Gastropods were the most important diet components of P. volitans. The male percentage occurrence of this group was found to be high in August (11.7%) and low in January (6.5%) (Figures 1-12). The female percentage occurrence of this group was found to be high in August (23.3%) and low in January (13.0%) (Figures 13-24 and Plate 9).
Sand grains formed the important group on the basis of percentage of occurrence (24.5%). The sand was frequently seen throughout the year. The male percentage fluctuated between 9.47% in the month of October and December (Figures 1-12). The female maximum percentage occurrence of sand grains recorded was 18.9 in the month of October and December. The minimum percentage occurrence of sand grains recorded was 6.5% in male and female 13.0 in the month of April and 3.9% in November (Figures 13-24 and Plate 10).
It was observed that the P. volitans predominant food item and the occurrence of these items in their guts throughout the year. The male maximum percentage occurrence of digested matter recorded was 6.17% in the month of November and 5.13% in January. The minimum was recorded 3.5% in the month of May and 3.9 % in April (Figures 1-12). The female maximum percentage occurrence of digested matter recorded was 12.3 the month of November and 10.27% in January. The minimum was recorded 7.07% in the month of May and 7.8% in April (Figures 13-24 and Plate 11).
Miscellaneous items were found to be of most dominant category, it was observed all the months of the study period. The male maximum percentage occurrence of miscellaneous recorded was 17.7% in the month of February and 15.3% in the month of March and lowest abundance of 10.5% noticed in the month of July (Figures 1-12). The female maximum percentage occurrence of miscellaneous recorded was 35.4% in the month of February and the lowest abundance of 21.0% noticed in the month of July (Figures 13-24 and Plate 12).
Food and feeding is an important aspect of biology of any animal which is of economic importance. The knowledge of the food and feeding habits are very important, it gives on more knowledge on growth, distribution and history of the fish. The changes in the feeding spectrum during different seasons, it’s very much useful to the migratory patterns of the fish studies. The present revealed the food habits of the lion fish P. volitans. This feed on invertebrates such as amphipods, isopods and other crustaceans. This also includes small fishes. The prominent contribution food was by Crustaceans followed by Zooplankton, Phytoplankton, Bivalves, Fish remains, Polychaetes, Gastropods, Sand, Nematodes, Digested matter and Miscellaneous. This trend was same in both male and female of this fish group. But there was a slight difference in feed composition in the males and females, when they are compared separately with each size group studied. In the present study the male fish of P. volitans stomach contents as identified feed compositions in the following order viz., Crustaceans (22.71) >Fish (21.11) >Zooplankton (17.88) >Phytoplankton (13.70) >Miscellaneous (13.42) >Bivalves (10.98) >Polychaetes (10.54) >Gastropods (8.55) >sand (8.18) >Nematodes (7.93) >Digested matter (4.52) and the female fish of P. volitans stomach contents as identified feed compositions in the following order viz., Crustaceans (45.43) >Fish (42.22) >Zooplankton (35.77) >Phytoplankton (27.41) >Miscellaneous (26.84) >Bivalves (21.97) >Polychaetes (19.14) >Gastropods (17.10) >Sand (16.36) >Nematodes (15.86) >Digested matter (9.05) respectively. The fact that male and female P. volitans naturally it can survive on a wide variety of food items as revealed by the present study. This term agrees with previous studies viz.,  Polydactylus indicus,  the ribbon fish, Trichiurus haumela,  Indian oil sardine, Sardinella longiceps,  Coilia dussumieri,  Cynoglossus lingua,  Blennius pholis and Centronotus gunnellus (L.),  Polynemus indicus (Shaw),  Saurida tumbil (Bloch),  Indian mackerel, Rastrelliger kanagurta,  Liza macrolepis (Smith) and Mugil cephalus Linn. (Mugilidae),  Indian oil sardine, Sardinella longiceps,  Ribbon fishes,  Biology of the silver belly, Leiognathus bindus (Val.),  pomfret Pampus argenteus (Euphrasen),  Indian oil sardine,  Nemipterus japonicas,  Trichodesmium,  Bombay duck, Harpodon nehereus (Ham.),  Pleuronectes plates,  horse-mackerel, Caranx kalla.
Food and feeding habits are essential to gain information on the main preys and preference or dietary overlap between year classes , to determine seasonal and geographical variations in dietary composition , to discern the dial rhythm in feeding behavior [13,20], to estimate energy budget  and to help in modeling energy flow in a marine ecosystem . The quality and quantity of food is one of the critical determinants influencing the timing of reproduction, age at first maturity, fecundity and the survival of fish. Qasim  stated that food and feeding habits of fishes forms one of the main investigations on any study on the biology of fishes. Knowledge of food consumption in fish population is needed to interpret the influence of a variety of factors on fish production . The present study on the food and feeding habits of the P. volitans (males and females) indicated that these species are exclusive carnivores. Feeding habits of the P. volitans are different, the prey catching them bilateral swims bladder muscles to provide beautiful control of location in the water column and allowing there are altering its centre of gravity to better attack prey, after that the spreads its big pectoral fins and intake its prey in a single motion. There were sightings of certain fragments of crustaceans’ appendages, broken shells of molluscs, and scales and rays of fishes in large amount of all the stomachs, with some specimen’s stomach containing different prey items. Fagade and Olaniyan  have been studied Hemichromis fasciatus to be feed mainly on fishes. Priyadharsini et al. , Manoharan et al. , Chacko , Pallaoro and Jardas  have been reported that the fish stomach found crabs and fishes. Fagade and Olaniyan  have been reported many fish feed on mollusc, crustaceans and insects. They are basically opportunistic feeders and easily catching scavenges decaying plant and animal matter. It is a peculiar phenomenon a regular schedule of feeding helps. P. volitans seem to most actively feed early in the morning 6.30 -10.30 am and then again in the afternoon, with a kind of casual foraging in between and hours prior, with a decrease in feeding activity throughout the day, however the P. volitans actively hunts in open water at night hours. The contribution of amphipods, isopods and zooplankton was relatively maximum was observed during late rainy season and also the contribution of phytoplankton to the diet of the fish was comparatively little. Nair and Subrahmanyan  have been observed zooplankton highly found in oil sardine gut region. Adiase  and Pauly  have been studied Sarotherodon and Tilapia sp to be plankton feeders. Ugwumba  have been studied C. nigrodigitatus found to be zooplankton mainly on cladocerans, copepods, ostrocods and mysids. P. volitans are primarily inhabited lagoon and reef associated and can be found in turbid inshore areas and the highest values of polychaete and nematodes biomass were found in the ecosystem, that they can eat an amazing amount of food. In the gut contents reveal that meio and macro fauna are an important prey item for P. volitans and providing an easily digestible and abundant food source. The identifiable content of meat and macro fauna is not easy ones, although the clearly observed in examining stomach different parts in the case of polychaetes in prostomium, peristomium, enlarged eye, parapodia, site, mouth, pygidium, anal cirrus and nematodes parts of the buccal cavity, sensible, tail, esophagus etc. The examined stomachs the abundance of meio and macro fauna was more during April-May followed by October-December and January-March and July-September. Rajan  have been studied the food spectrum of fishes from the Chilka Lake. Manoharan et al.  have been studied the polychaetes is a dominant food item in Terapon jarbua from Parangipettai coast. P. volitans is not directly consume due to sand particle, the activities of fishes can vary, sometimes it can fighting and highly moving periods the sand particle accidental ingestion of the food items. It was observed during the study period throughout the year, maximum was observed in the months of January-June. The minimum was recorded in the months of October–December. It was rarely observed in the months of July-September. The sand is the best substrate for aquarium use and also the putting sand in an aquarium its recommended P. volitans is not directly consumers. Digested matters were recorded throughout the year. The maximum was observed in the months of January-June and minimum were recorded in the month of October-December. Detritus is organic waste material from decomposing dead plants; mangrove, seagrass and seaweed, there is a large number of P. volitans that feed directly on detritus. Qasim and Bhattathim  have been reported that sea grasses and other macrophyte may provide a source of nutrition of fishes. Darnell  have been observed that the detritus has been found to be consumed, very often. Yet if a P.volitans stays in a one position, that time developed gills using to filter the water to take in food, it will be able to obtain enough food to get by. Keeping in aquarium P. volitans it can control the amount of decaying matter. No need of cleaners in each package, there now using man-made actions and cleaning instruments, it’s one of the benefits for keeping this aquarium. Miscellaneous is called mixed character it can formed predominant food item of P. volitans almost throughout the year. Miscellaneous has a different colloidal feeds consists of all types of biogenic material in various stages of decomposition . It has been found to be consumed very often. Fish with empty stomachs, which accounted for about 27% of the total, occurred in all sampling months. The feeding habits on P. volitans are observed in the rainy seasons the stomach is full and dry season it may be decreased. The dry season mostly occurs in high level of empty stomachs. The earlier studies on the food and feeding of lion fish pointed out that they feed on invertebrates such as amphipods, isopods, and other crustaceans . The report of these researchers adds support to the results of the present study. Earlier studies proved that they feed mostly on crustaceans, and small fishes, which include the juveniles of their own species .
The results obtained from the present study cannot simply be generalized due to a large difference in the variation of the habitat in which they occur. They may also vary with the varying environmental conditions. Most fishes undergo an ontogenic shift in diet; this may be due to an interaction of changes in external factors such as habitat, food supply and risk of predation and internal conditions like changes in anatomical structure, behaviour and physiological demand [54-58]. In many species changes in diet are associated with habitat shifts [55,57]. Changes in the size of the mouth and the oral anatomy may also correspond with ontogeny dietary shifts . The fish die in the wild is through predation by other fish and disease or starvation. Because of the immense size of the oceans, it is very difficult to get a good idea for keeping fishes in the aquarium. Marine life conservation is generally involved with preserving marine ecosystems and the animals that depend on them. The pollution and global warming are threatening the biodiversity of the world's oceans. Protecting marine flora and fauna can help to preserve one of the world's major food sources and other aspects.
Aquariums are a great hobby most people are interested in keeping fish. There is a large variety of P. volitans available for the ecosystem. These fish come in a variety of colors, shapes, full of personality, beautiful, charismatic, robust and behaviour patterns. P. volitans are extremely sensitive to water quality changes and feeding schedule so poor maintenance fact in dead fish. However, they can be manageable if want to research find out what are feeding them can be consumed. The feed management is a difficult one. To start P. volitans aquariums very careful when you carry out maintenance work because the lionfish P. volitans can deliver a venomous sting. The present study showed that the males and females of this lion fish have the same feeding habits and it can adapt itself and if necessary even change its preference to certain food materials, depending on the accessibility of such items in a particular ecosystem. The information drawn in the present study on the food and feeding of P. volitans will be of immense help in choosing the correct feed for the appropriate stages during ornamental culture. This is always seems to be important in so far as the culture of this species in mass scale is concerned. Therefore, data derived from such studies are most directly applicable to hatchery problems, although generalizations concerning the factors influencing feeding and growth may in their natural habitat.