Oyeniyi, Muyiwa Emmanuel, Solomon, Shola Gabriel, Ayuba and Victoria Offuene
One hundred and fifty seven (157) Clarotes laticeps were sampled from Lower River Benue. Regression analysis was used to determine the length-weight and length-length relationships while frequency of occurrence and numerical methods of analysis were used to examine the food and feeding habits. Strong length-weight relationships were observed in the female, male and the combined sexes of Clarotes laticeps from Lower River Benue with R2 values of 0.864, 0.905, and 0.882 respectively while a negative allometric growth pattern was observed in the sampled fish with “b” factor less than 3 in the regression equation. However, a weak relationship was observed between the gut length and total length as well as in the gut length and the standard length with R2 values of 0.295 and 0.270 respectively. Clarotes laticeps from Lower River Benue was observed to be an omnivorous fish with fish, insect parts, plant materials, mollusks and detritus constituting their food materials. However, the fish appeared to be feeding more on insect parts as these were found in 69.43% of the total number of sampled stomachs and constituting 56.66% of the total food items observed. This is followed by plant materials and the least food item consumed is mollusk with 3.82% and 1.98% for frequency of occurrence and numerical analysis respectively. 21.02% of the sampled stomachs were observed to be empty. It was concluded that Clarotes laticeps from Lower River Benue is an omnivorous fish and getting appropriate feed for them in culture will not be a challenge. Good broodstocks of the fish for domestication can also be gotten from Lower River Benue.
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