Authors: DALILA DJENNOUNE, FAIZA MARNICHE, MANSOUR AMROUN, RAPHAËL BOULAY
Abstract: The present study is the first qualitative and quantitative analysis of the diet of Algerian hedgehogs (Atelerix algirus) in Kabylia, Algeria. The study was carried out between May and October 2014 and covered two different sites, Yakouren (a forested site) and Tizi-Rached (an agricultural site). In Yakouren, the analysis of droppings allowed us to identify 12,050 items grouped into 16 categories of eaten preys, while in Tizi-Rached, 13,543 items grouped into 13 categories of preys were identified. In both locations, the Hymenoptera category is the most eaten type of prey at a rate of 93% in Yakouren and 98% in Tizi-Rached. Moreover, the seasonal variation, the food selectivity, and comparative studies of the consumed categories between the two sites were analyzed in this study. In the Hymenoptera category, 99% of the consumed preys at both sites belonged to the family Formicidae. A deeper investigation revealed that 13 species were in that family in Yakouren and 11 species in Tizi-Rached. The species most consumed by the hedgehogs at both sites are Messor spp. at a rate of 49% in Yakouren and 91% in Tizi-Rached. In order to analyze the preference for some prey, a biochemical analysis of the energy intake was performed and discussed.
Keywords: Diet, hedgehog, Atelerix algirus, food selectivity, seasonal variations, energy intake
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