Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 94, Issue 4, pp 649–662 | Cite as

Reproduction and feeding habits of the highly seasonal Brachyhypopomus bombilla (Gymnotiformes: Hypopomidae) from southern Brazil with evidence for a dormancy period

  • Julia GioraEmail author
  • Hellen M. Tarasconi
  • Clarice B. Fialho


The reproductive biology and feeding habits of the hypopomid Brachyhypopomus bombilla were studied. The species has seasonal behavior, with breeding and feeding activity occurring mostly during the Southern Hemisphere spring and summer. We defined fractional spawning for the species and a relative fecundity similar to those previously reported for other gymnotiform species. According to the analysis of the food items, B. bombilla was included in the trophic category invertivorous, feeding mainly on autochthonous insects. The reproductive periods of males and females as well as female feeding activity were significantly related to the photoperiod. During a period of 5 months, when the lowest water temperatures and shortest photoperiod were recorded, all the specimens of B. bombilla were found buried in the muddy bottom of the creek, with lower electric organ discharge activity, empty stomachs, and gonads in early stages of the maturation process. This period, herein defined as a dormancy period, is reported here for the first time for a species of the Gymnotiformes order.


Diet Breeding Environmental variations Electric fish Rio Grande do Sul 



We are grateful to L. Malabarba for his comments during the development of this study. We also thank Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—CAPES, and Programa Nacional de Pós Doutorado—PNPD-CAPES (process 2282/09) that has funded the first author, and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico—CNPq (process 476821/2003–7; 478002/2006–8) that has supported this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Giora
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hellen M. Tarasconi
    • 1
  • Clarice B. Fialho
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Ictiologia, Departamento de ZoologiaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil

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