, Volume 250, Issue 2, pp 97–103

The macroinvertebrate fauna of water hyacinth fringes in the Sudd swamps (River Nile, southern Sudan)

  • R. G. Bailey
  • M. R. Litterick

DOI: 10.1007/BF00008231

Cite this article as:
Bailey, R.G. & Litterick, M.R. Hydrobiologia (1993) 250: 97. doi:10.1007/BF00008231


The water hyacinth now forms an almost ubiquitous fringe to open-water habitats in the permanent wetland of the Sudd. In a typical river-lake the fringe varied between 9 and 16 m in breadth with highest plant biomasses in the centre. Largest quantities of macroinvertebrates in hyacinth root-mats were obtained in drop-trap samples within 6 m of the open water. They were dominated by coleopterans, odonatans, gastropods andCaridina nilotica. Outer edges of the fringe offer easy access, good dissolved oxygen concentrations, and a variety of potential food resources for aquatic invertebrates. By contrast the less hospitable landward zone contained a reduced fauna in which coleopterans, hydracarines and gastropods were prominent. A marked reduction in the numbers of invertebrates in lift-net samples of detached hyacinth rafts was attributed to browsing by fish. Hyacinth root-mats appear to have replaced the niches formerly provided by those of the Nile cabbage for aquatic invertebrates in the Sudd.

Key words

Eichhornia macroinvertebrates Nile Sudan Sudd swamps 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. G. Bailey
    • 1
  • M. R. Litterick
    • 2
  1. 1.Biosphere Sciences DivisionKing's College LondonLondonU.K.
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of NairobiNairobiKenya
  3. 3.St. Andrew's SchoolTuriKenya

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