Authors: THOMAS OLIVER MÉRO
Abstract: In autumn 2011 and spring 2012, the diet of pike (n = 112) captured in a backwater in eastern Hungary was examined. Eight species of prey-fish were found in the stomachs of 31 of the 112 pike individuals, and 71.9% of the prey-fish in the stomachs of 16 of the 31 pike individuals were European weather loach, Misgurnus fossilis. This first recording of European weather loach in the diet of pike is a valuable finding, because it provides new information on an endangered species categorized as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The high number of European weather loach found in the diet of pike suggests that this species was easy prey for the predator after the spawning period when pike start to feed intensively to replace the energy used for reproduction.
Keywords: Esox lucius, piscivorous diet, prey-fish, endangered species, Misgurnus fossilis, Hungary
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