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Food and feeding habits of the neotropical river otter Lontra longicaudis (Carnivora, Mustelidae)
  • Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)
  • Ctro. de Tecn. em Aqüicultura
A study of the feeding habits of the neotropical river otter, Lontra longicaudis, based on focal analysis was carried out from July 1986 to July 1987. The study was conducted at a dam in the 'Duas Bocas' Biological Reserve near the town of Cariacica, Espirito Santo State, Brazil. This reserve spreads over an area of 2 910 ha, the surface being mainly covered by the Atlantic Rain Forest. In order to identify the fish and other animal remains found in otter fecal samples, these were compared to the homologous structures of identical species living in the dam. The results of 288 samples were expressed in numbers and frequency of occurrence. Fishes were the most important food item, being present in 281 samples (97.2 %). A species of the genus Geophagus was frequently found in spraints, eaten during all months studied and present in 88.9 % of the samples. Astyanax, Pimelodella, Hoplias, Leporinus, Rhamdia, Tilapia and two other unidentified genera were found less frequently. In decreasing order of occurrence, crustaceans, amphibia, mammals, insects and birds were also encountered. Seasonal variation was verified in the scats between the dry and rainy seasons, with a higher frequency of food items occurring in the latter. In agreement with other species of otters, fishes also are the most commonly ingested prey. Two characteristics of fishes, greater abundance and easier capture, make them the major prey of otters, implying that otters are opportunistic predators eating whatever is more available.
Issue Date: 
Mammalia, v. 61, n. 2, p. 193-203, 1997.
Time Duration: 
  • diet
  • feeding habit
  • river otter
  • Brazila, Espirito Santo State
  • Astyanax
  • Geophagus
  • Hoplias
  • Leporinus
  • Lontra longicaudis
  • Pimelodella
  • Rhamdia
  • Tilapia
Access Rights: 
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Appears in Collections:Artigos, TCCs, Teses e Dissertações da Unesp

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