Food and feeding habits of Clarias batrachus (Linnaeus, 1758) from Ambajogai, Maharashtra, India - Journal of Fisheries

Journal of Fisheries
Volume 2 Issue 2 August 2014
Pages: 148-150

Food and feeding habits of Clarias batrachus (Linnaeus, 1758) from Ambajogai, Maharashtra, India

Vishwas Balasaheb Sakhare • Ashvini Dnayndeo Chalak

Post Graduate Department of Zoology, Yogeshwari Mahavidyalaya, Ambajogai-431517, India

Article type: Short Communication

DOI: dx.doi.org/10.17017/jfish.v2i2.2014.33

Manuscript history

  • Received on 09 Jun 2014
  • Received in revised form on 21 Aug 2014
  • Accepted on 23 Aug 2014
  • Published online on 31 Aug 2014

Correspondance
Dr. Vishwas Balasaheb Sakhare
Head, Post Graduate Department of Zoology, Yogeshwari Mahavidyalaya
Email: vbsakhare@rediffmail.com

Citation
Sakhare VB and Chalak AD (2014) Food and feeding habits of Clarias batrachus (Linnaeus, 1758) from Ambajogai, Maharashtra, India. Journal of Fisheries 2(2): 148-150. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.17017/jfish.v2i2.2014.33

   
Table of contents
  > Abstract
> Introduction
> Methodology
> Results and Discussion
>
Acknowledgement
> References
   
Abstract
The food analysis of 150 specimens of Clarias batrachus revealed that the food consisted of insect larvae, small fish, shrimps and organic debris. Small fish and insect larvae were preferred as the primary food item in all the seasons. On average for all months of the study period, small fish dominated the list with a percentage of 30.27.The other food items in descending order are insect larvae (27.66%), worms (20.27%), shrimps (14.3%) and organic debris (7.05%).The feeding intensity in mature fishes was found to be very poor during August to September. This period of poor feeding activities in case mature fishes coincides with the peak spawning season.
   
Keywords
Food and feeding, Clarias batrachus, Asian catfish, walking catfish, Maharashtra, India
 
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Introduction

The Asian catfish ‘Clarias batrachus’ is popularly known as ‘magur’ in Bengali and ‘walking catfish’ in English. It is found across southern Asia including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, China and Philippines. It is an air-breathing fish as well as a hardy fish, which can thrive where many other fish struggle to survive. In addition to reservoirs, lakes and tanks, they can be found in brackish waters. They can remain dormant through periods of drought ad go several months without eating. When they do eat, they consume a wide variety to prey. The fish is voracious who are mainly active at night. It is an important cat fish with good markets especially in North-Eastern parts of India where it fetches a higher price than the carps. In some parts of Assam, the fish is sold at more than Rs. 300 per kg. The fish is revered as nutritious and therapeutic in nature. It is generally cultured in ponds along with carps. However, the culture practices of this species have not received much attention, probably due to inadequate supplies of seed and proper feed.

The culture of magur has good prospects for developing domestic trade, because of its high market price, medicinal value, better taste, rich protein content and of fewer spines. The fish is in great demand in the northeastern part of India particularly in West Bengal, Assam, Odisha and Bihar for its high nutritional value. It contains higher percentage of protein and iron as compared to other edible freshwater fish species (Sakhare 2012). Its fat content is also very low and is therefore easily digestible so that it is very useful during convalescence. With most other it is a delicacy because of the characteristic aroma and softness of its flesh.

The study of the food and feeding habits of freshwater fish species is a subject of continuous research because it constitutes the basis for the development of a successful fisheries management program on fish capture and culture (Oronsaye and Nakpodia 2005).Food and feeding habits of fishes have been a field of interest to fisheries researchers since very long. Serajuddin et al. (1998) and Dutta (1990) described the food and feeding habits of Mastacembelus armatus. Basudha and Vishwanath (1999) studied food and feeding habits of Osteobrama belangiri. Another study on Mystus montanus from Tambarabarani River in Tirunelveli reveals the fish as omnivorous (Raj 2002). Similarly Rao and Rao (2002) reported food and feeding habits of Glossogobius giuris. Raj et al. (2004) studied food and feeding habits of Notopterus notopterus from Bhavanisagar dam of Tamil Nadu. Rajagopal (2005) studied the feeding ecology of inland catfishes from wetlands of Tamil Nadu. Kumar et al. (2007) have given a report on the food and feeding habits of Catla catla from Daya Reservoir (Rajasthan). Mondal and Kaviraj (2010) studied feeding and reproductive biology of Gudusia chapra from floodplain lakes and concluded the planktophahgus and omnivorous feeding habit of the fish. Sakhare (2010) studied food and feeding of Cyprinus carpio from local markets, reservoirs and ponds around Ambajogai. Arthi et al. (2011) conducted the study on food and feeding habits of Ompak bimaculatus and O. malabaricus of river Amaravathy in Tamil Nadu and reported both fishes as omnivorous, feeding mainly on vegetable matter and fish. Despite of all this, there is no literature on food and feeding habits of catfish, C. batrachus from this region. Hence the purpose of the present study was to investigate the food and feeding habits of C. batrachus.

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Methodology
The specimens were collected from different water bodies around Ambajogai in Beed district of Maharashtra during the period from October 2011 to September 2012. Samples were collected by using cast-net and gill-net. The collections were carried out in morning and at evening. The specimens were preserved in 10% formalin immediately after the collection and were brought to the laboratory for further analysis. The total length, standard length and weight of fish were measured. After taking the length and weight the entire gut was taken and for the analysis of the different food items. Gravimetric method (Hynes 1950) was used for the percentage composition of different food items.
[Top] [Table of contents]
Results and Discussion
 

The food analysis of 150 specimens of C. batrachus collected from different water bodies around Ambajogai revealed that the food consisted of insect larvae, small fish, shrimps and organic debris. From Table 1 it can be stated that in C. batrachus small fish and insect larvae were preferred as the primary food item in all the seasons. On average for all months of the study period, small fish dominated the list with a percentage of 30.27 and the other food items in descending order are insect larvae (27.66%), worms (20.27%), shrimps (14.3%) and organic debris (7.05%) (Figure 1).

Table 1: Percentage occurrence of various food items in relation to different months of Clarias batrachus
Table 1: Percentage occurrence of various food items in relation to different months of Clarias batrachus

Figure 1: Percentage composition of the food items of Clarias batrachus
Figure 1:
Percentage composition of the food items of Clarias batrachus

In the present investigation it is found that the feeding intensity in mature fishes was found to be very poor during August to September. This period of poor feeding activities in case mature fishes coincides with the peak spawning season. Bhuiyan et al. (2006) reported very poor feeding intensity in mature species of Channa punctatus during May to July. Saikia et al. (2012) also reported low feeding intensity of Channa punctatus in June-July and November-January. Basudha and Vishwanath (1999) observed low feeding intensity in Ostebrama belangiri during June-August.
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Acknowledgement
 
Authors are thankful to the Principal, Yogeshwari  Mahavidyalaya, Ambajogai for the facilities provided to carry out this research work.
References
 

Arthi T, Nagarajan S and Sivakumar AA (2011) Food and feeding habits of two freshwater fishes, Ompak bimaculatus and O. malabaricus of river Amaravathy, Tamil Nadu. The Bioscan 6(3): 417-420.

Basudha CH and Vishwanath W (1999) Food and feeding habits of an endemic carp, Osteobrama belangiri (Val) in Manipur. Indian Journal of Fisheries 46(1): 71-77.

Bhuiyan AS, Afroz S and Zaman T (2006) Food and feeding habit of the juvenile and adult snakehead, Channa punctatus (Bloch). Journal of Life and Earth Science 1(2): 53-54.

Dutta SPS (1990) Food and feeding ecology of Mastacembelus armatus (Lecep.) from Gadigarh stream, Jammu. Matsya. 15&16: 66-69.

Hynes HBN (1950) The food of freshwater stickleback with a review of the methods used in studies of food of fishes. Journal of Animal Ecology 191: 36-58.

Kumar R, Sharma BK and Sharma LL (2007) Food and feeding habits of Catla catla (Hamilton-Buchanan) from Daya Reservoir, Udaipur, Rajasthan. Indian Journal of  Animal Research 41(4): 266-269.

Mondal DK and Kaviraj A (2010) Feeding and reproductive biology of Indian shad Gudusia chapra in two floodplain lakes of India. Electronic Journal of Biology 6(4): 98-102.

Oronsaye CG and Nakpodia FA (2005) A comparative study of the food and feeding habits of Chrysichthys nigrodigitatus and Brycinus nurse in a tropical river. Pakistan Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research 48:118-121.

Raj AJA (2002) Conservation of threatened fish species by induced breeding techniques. PhD Thesis, CARE, St.Xavier's College, Tirunelveli, India.

Raj AJA, Seetharaman, Haniffa  MA and Singh SP (2004) Food and feeding habits of a threatened featherback Notopterus notopterus. Journal of Aquatic Biology 19(1): 115-118.

Rajagopal B (2005) Ecology and distribution of Inland catfishes in wetlands of Tamil Nadu, India, Thesis submitted for the Award of the Degree of PhD in Ecology, Pondicherry University.

Rao LM and Rao PS (2002) Food and feeding habits of Glossogobius giuris from Gosthani estuary. Indian Journal of Fisheries 49(1): 35-40.

Saikia AK, Abujam SKS and Biswas SP (2012) Food and feeding habit of Channa punctatus (Bloch) from the paddy field of Sivasagar District, Assam. Bulletin of Environment, Pharmacology and Life Sciences 1(5): 10-15.

Sakhare VB (2010) Food and Feeding habit of common carp, Cyprinus carpio (Linn). Fishing Chimes 30(1): 180-182.

Sakhare VB (2012) Inland Fisheries, Daya Publishing House, New Delhi, India.

Serajuddin M, Khan AA and Mustafa S (1998) Food and feeding habits of the spiny eel, Mastacembelus armatus. Asian Fisheries Science 11: 271-278.
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