, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 459-464

Experiments on the Feeding Behavior of the Hematophagous Candiru, Vandellia cf. Plazaii

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Hematophagous candirus (family Trichomycteridae Vandellia cf. plazaii) did not respond to potential chemical attractants (ammonia amino acids fresh fish slime and human urine) added to their aquarium water. They seemed to respond visually to live goldfish Carassius auratus and Amazonian cichlids Cichlasoma amazonarum. One hypothesis tested is that the goldfish (an ostariophysan) might be preferred to the cichlid (a perciform fish). Goldfish were attacked first significantly more often when both prey species were present (one-sided difference in proportions test, N = 15, p = 0.02). However neither the elapsed time to the first attack nor the duration of the attacks differed significantly (Mann-Whitney's U-test N = 32 p = 0.27 and p = 0.92). These two species seemed incapable (goldfish) or weakly capable (cichlid) of avoiding or repelling candiru attacks