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Observations on the foraging behaviour of a subterranean fish Monopterus digressus (Synbranchiformes: Synbranchidae)

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Foraging behaviour was studied in five specimens of the eyeless, cord-like eel Monopterus digressus collected from wells charged from subterranean streams, situated at the western periphery of the Western Ghats in Kerala, India. Feeding experiments were conducted using two types of live prey, and indicated the absence of visually oriented predatory movement. Dependence on olfactory as well as tactile stimuli for foraging in the absence of visual cues was evidenced.

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We are grateful to Dr. Jose Thekkan for facilities provided. Thanks are also due to Mr. P.K. Johnson for helping us to collect the fish. Help rendered by Dr. K.C. Gopi of the Zoological Survey of India, Calicut, for identifying the fish is also acknowledged. While planning and executing the experiments presented here, we took all care not to violate national or international laws and guidelines for use of fishes in research.

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Correspondence to Moncey Vincent.

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Fig. S1

Monopterus digressus, which creeps over the laterite stone in the experimental aquarium. Dimensions: 2,752 × 1,594 (JPEG 2835 kb)

Movie S1Monopterus digressus, searching for Artemia nauplii in sandy substratum. Duration: 23 s; AVI format; dimensions: 640 × 480; bit rate: 1,411 kbps; file size 37.5 MB (AVI 36573 kb)

Movie S2Monopterus digressus, foraging for earthworm minces. Duration: 75 s; Windows Media Video format; dimensions: 640 × 480; bit rate: 1,510 kbps; file size 14.3 MB (WMV 13958 kb)

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Vincent, M., Thomas, J. Observations on the foraging behaviour of a subterranean fish Monopterus digressus (Synbranchiformes: Synbranchidae). Ichthyol Res 58, 95–98 (2011).

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