Full paper

Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 225-241

First online:

Interspecific relationships of aufwuchs-eating fishes in Lake Tanganyika

  • Kenzi TakamuraAffiliated withLaboratory of Animal Ecology, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Kyoto University

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On a rocky shore of Lake Tanganyika aufwuchs-eating is practiced by 18 fish species: 17 cichlids and 1 cyprinid. The majority takes mostly either filamentous or unicellular algae.Tropheus moorei and its taxonomically related species most closely resemble one another in diet among the species taking mostly filamentous algae, and thePetrochromis species do so among the species taking mostly unicellular algae.Petrochromis polyodon andT. moorei severely interfere with the feeding activities of related species. These two dominant species share both intensive grazing sites and temporal grazing patterns, and there seems to be a symbiotic relationship between them. Symbiotic relationships are also seen in seven cases of associated feeding by carnivorous fishes. Differences in diet or feeding behavior are found between these symbionts. Small but clear differences are found betweenP. polyodon andT. moorei and between the associating and the carnivorous host fishes in the four cases of associated feeding. These small differences seem attributable to morphological differences and may have been effective for the evolution of symbiotic relationships.


Diet Feeding behavior Removal Community Associated feeding Competition Symbiotic relationship