Aquatic Ecology

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 289–299 | Cite as

Feeding ecology of the critically endangered Valencia letourneuxi (Valenciidae)

  • Eleni KalogianniEmail author
  • Sofia Giakoumi
  • Argyro Andriopoulou
  • Yorgos Chatzinikolaou


Valencia letourneuxi is a critically endangered freshwater fish in urgent need of targeted conservation. Little information is however available on its life history and feeding ecology; therefore, food resource utilization by V. letourneuxi was studied in its most abundant known Greek population of Chiliadou stream. The diet of this population appears to be dominated by microcrustaceans, Dipteran larvae, Acari, and Mollusca. Its feeding is highly dependent on seasonal prey availability and diversity, with niche overlap being low only between winter and the rest of the seasons, indicating that only during winter its diet differs significantly in relation to the other seasons. There are no significant sex- and size-related dietary shifts. This V. letourneuxi population is characterized by a generalist feeding strategy and appears to consist mostly of individuals with broad niches. Its generalist feeding pattern and dietary flexibility permits it to fully exploit this very diverse and rich habitat and may account for the high local abundance of this population.


Valencia letourneuxi Diet Feeding strategy Feeding ecology 



The authors would like to thank Danilo Mrdak, University of Montenegro, for the help in the field work, Dr. M.Th. Stoumboudi for the critical reading of the manuscript and Brian Zimmerman for proofreading the English text.


  1. Alcaraz C, García-Berthou E (2007) Food of an endangered cyprinodont (Aphanius iberus): ontogenetic diet shift and prey electivity. Environ Biol Fishes 78:193–207. doi: 10.1007/s10641-006-0018-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amundsen PA, Gabler HM, Staldvik FJ (1996) A new approach to graphical analysis of feeding strategy from stomach contents data–modification of the Costello (1990) method. J Fish Biol 48:607–614Google Scholar
  3. Barbieri R, Daoulas CH, Psarras TH, Stoumboudi MTH, Economou AN (2000) The biology and ecology of Valencia letourneuxi Sauvage, 1880 (Valenciidae)—prospects for conservation. Medit Mar Sci 1:75–90Google Scholar
  4. Barbieri R, Stoumboudi MTH, Economou AN (2002) Threatened fishes of the world: Valencia letourneuxi Sauvage, 1880 (Valenciidae). Environ Biol Fishes 65:46. doi: 10.1023/A:1019627028345 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bergmann GT, Motta PJ (2005) Diet and morphology through ontogeny of the nonidigenous Mayan cichlid Cichlasoma (Nandopsis) urophthalmus (Gunther 1862) in southern Florida. Environ Biol Fishes 72:205–211. doi: 10.1007/s10641-004-1480-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Caiola N, de Sostoa A (2005) Possible reasons for the decline of two native toothcarps in the Iberian Peninsula: evidence of competition with the introduced Eastern mosquitofish. J Appl Ichthyol 21:358–363. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0426.2005.00684.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Caiola N, Vargas MJ, de Sostoa A (2001a) Feeding ecology of the endangered Valencia toothcarp, Valencia hispanica (Actinopterygii: Valenciidae). Hydrobiologia 448:97–105. doi: 10.1023/A:1017584903305 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Caiola N, Vargas MJ, de Sostoa A (2001b) Life history pattern of the endangered Valencia toothcarp, Valencia hispanica (Actinopterygii: Valenciidae) and its implications for conservation. Arch Hydrobiol 150:437–489Google Scholar
  9. Clark KR (1993) Non-parametric multivariate analyses of changes in community structure. Aust J Ecol 18:117–143. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.1993.tb00438.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Clark KR, Green RH (1988) Statistical design and analysis for a ‘biological effects’ study. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 46:213–226. doi: 10.3354/meps046213 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Declerck S, Louette G, De Bie T, De Meester L (2002) Patterns of diet overlap between populations of non-indigenous and native fishes in shallow ponds. J Fish Biol 61:1182–1197. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2002.tb02464.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Economou AN, Giakoumi S, Vardakas L, Barbieri R, Stoumboudi M, Zogaris S (2007) The freshwater ichthyofauna of Greece–an update based on a hydrographic basin survey. Medit Mar Sci 8(1):91–166Google Scholar
  13. Hyslop EJ (1980) Stomach content analysis–a critical review of methods and their application. J Fish Biol 17:411–429. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.1980.tb02775.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kalogianni E, Giakoumi S, Zogaris S, Barbieri R, Stoumboudi MTH, Zimmerman B, Economou AN (2006) Population decline of the endangered fish species Valencia letourneuxi in Western Greece—strategies for conservation. In: Book of abstracts 1st European congress of conservation biology. Society for Conservation Biology, Eger, Hungary, pp 123Google Scholar
  15. Kottelat M, Freyhof J (2007) Handbook of European freshwater fishes. Kottelat, Cornol, Switzerland and Freyhof, Berlin, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  16. Krebs CJ (1989) Ecological methodology. Harper Collins, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Leonardos I (2008) The feeding ecology of Aphanius fasciatus (Valenciennes, 1821) in the lagoonal system of Messolongi (Western Greece). Sci Mar 72:393–401. doi: 10.3989/scimar.2008.72n2393 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lobón-Cerviá J, Rincón PA (1994) Trophic ecology of red roach (Rutilus arcasii) in a seasonal stream; an example of detritivory as a feeding tactic. Freshw Biol 32:123–132. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.1994.tb00872.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Oliva-Paterna FJ, Torralva M, Fernández-Delgado C (2006) Threatened fishes of the world: Aphanius iberus (Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1846) (Cyprinodontidae). Environ Biol Fishes 75:307–309. doi: 10.1007/s10641-006-0016-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Oscoz J, Leunda PM, Miranda R, Escala MC (2006) Summer feeding relationships of the co-occurring Phoxinus phoxinus and Gobio lozanoi (Cyprinidae) in an Iberian river. Folia Zool (Brno) 55(4):418–432Google Scholar
  21. Persson L (1983) Food consumption and the significance of detritus and algae to intraspecific competition in roach Rutilus rutilus in a shallow eutrophic lake. Oikos 41:118–125. doi: 10.2307/3544353 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Persson L (1991) Interspecific relations. In: Winfield IJ, Nelson JE (eds) Cyprinid fishes. Systematics, biology and exploitation. Chapman and Hall, London, pp 530–551Google Scholar
  23. Pielou EC (1966) The measurement of diversity in different types of biological collections. J Theor Biol 13:131–144. doi: 10.1016/0022-5193(66)90013-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Planelles M, Reyna S (1996) Conservation of samaruc, Valencia hispanica (Val., 1846), an endemic and endangered species in the community of Valencia (east Spain). In: Kirchhofer A, Hefti D (eds) Conservation of endangered freshwater fish in Europe, advances in life sciences. Birkhäuser verlag, Basel, pp 329–336Google Scholar
  25. Ribeiro F, Orjuela R, Megalhaes M, Collares-Pereira M (2007) Variability in feeding ecology of a South American cichlid: a reason for successful invasion in Mediterranean-type rivers? Ecol Freshw Fish 16:559–569. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0633.2007.00252.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Risueño P, Hernández J (2000) Planes de recuperación en peces en la Comunidad Valenciana: el Fartet y el Samaruc. Serie Zoologica. Publ Biol Univ Navarra 26:17–30Google Scholar
  27. Skoulikidis N, Amaxidis Y, Bertahas I, Laschou S, Gritzalis K (2006) Analysis of factors driving stream water composition and synthesis of management tools–a case study on small/medium Greek catchments. Sci Total Environ 362:205–241. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2005.05.018 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Stephanidis A (1974) On some fish of the Ioniokorinthian region (W. Greece etc.)—a new genus of Cyprinidae: Tropidophoxinellus n. gen. Biol Gallo-Hell 5:235–257Google Scholar
  29. Tachet H, Richoux P, Bournaud M, Usseglio-Polatera P (2000) Invertébrés d’eau douce: systématique, biologie, écologie. CNRS Editions, ParisGoogle Scholar
  30. Vargas MJ, Sostoa A (1997) Life-history pattern of the Iberian toothcarp Aphanius iberus (Pisces, Cyprinodontidae) from a Mediterranean estuary, the Ebro delta (Spain). Neth J Zool 47:143–160. doi: 10.1163/156854297X00157 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wallace RK (1981) An assessment of diet-overlap indexes. Trans Am Fish Soc 110:72–76. doi: 10.1577/1548-8659(1981)110<72:AAODI>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleni Kalogianni
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sofia Giakoumi
    • 1
  • Argyro Andriopoulou
    • 1
  • Yorgos Chatzinikolaou
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Inland WatersHellenic Centre for Marine ResearchAnavissosGreece

Personalised recommendations