Marine Biology

, Volume 61, Issue 2–3, pp 243–246 | Cite as

Tidal and diurnal influence on food consumption of a salt marsh killifish Fundulus heteroclitus

  • S. B. Weisberg
  • R. Whalen
  • V. A. Lotrich


Feeding patterns during four 24-h periods, sampled at 3-h intervals, were investigated for the mummichog Fundulus heteroclitus, in a Delaware, USA tidal marsh. Two factors potentially influencing feeding patterns, time of day and tide height, were examined. On 2 of the sampling periods a low tide occurred in the morning, while on the other 2 sampling periods a high tide occurred in the morning. Results are reported as g-dry wt. of food per g-dry wt. of fish. F. heteroclitus is primarily a daytime feeder that most actively feeds at high tide, regardless of whether or not the high tide inundates marsh surface areas. When tide height was sufficient to inundate the marsh surface, fish invaded these areas and consumed prey characteristic of the marsh surface. F. heteroclitus is an important link in energy transfers between the marsh surface and subtidal systems, enhancing its own energy supplies by consuming marsh surface prey whenever available.


Energy Transfer Sampling Period Food Consumption Energy Supply High Tide 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. B. Weisberg
    • 1
  • R. Whalen
    • 1
  • V. A. Lotrich
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Life and Health Sciences, Ecology and Organismic Biology SectionUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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