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Feeding ecology of the critically endangered Valencia letourneuxi (Valenciidae)

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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.

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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.

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Correspondence to Eleni Kalogianni.

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Kalogianni, E., Giakoumi, S., Andriopoulou, A. et al. Feeding ecology of the critically endangered Valencia letourneuxi (Valenciidae). Aquat Ecol 44, 289–299 (2010).

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