Revista de Biología Tropical ISSN Impreso: 0034-7744 ISSN electrónico: 2215-2075

Trophic and reproductive ecology of Hemibrycon sierraensis (Characiformes: Characidae), endemic fish of Gaira River, Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, Colombia
PDF (Español (España))
HTML (Español (España))


freshwater tropical fish.
peces tropicales de agua dulce.

How to Cite

Ibarra-Trujillo, E. J., & García-Alzate, C. A. (2017). Trophic and reproductive ecology of Hemibrycon sierraensis (Characiformes: Characidae), endemic fish of Gaira River, Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, Colombia. Revista De Biología Tropical, 65(3), 1033–1045.


The study of feeding habits in fishes can give important information about their role in the fish community, their functional role in the ecosystem, and their relationships with all available resources. We studied H. sierraensis from Gaira River and performed eight bi-monthly samples between May 2014 and November 2015. We analyzed fish stomach contents by the numerical (% N), volume (% V) and frequency of occurrence (% FO) methods; we also calculated the index of food importance (IA), coefficient of emptiness (CV), trophic niche breadth (used H ') and condition factor (K). Additionally, we determined the sex ratio, gonadosomatic index (RGS), fecundity, minimum and average size at sexual maturity, and oocyte diameter by standard methods. The Gaira River has irregular meanders with clear waters, and high current velocity through its drainage; it is generally oligotrophic, with a tendency to eutrophic condition in some places. Observed dissolved oxygen values were high (5.4 mg/L), electrical conductivity was 68.63 µS/cm, and pH was found neutral. We analyzed stomach contents of 477 specimens, and found a 1.59 % coefficient of vacuity. The species was found euryphagic in its feeding habits (H'= 0.69), omnivorous tending to insectivorous; its diet consisted mainly of Trichoptera larvae (Atanatolica sp.), followed in importance by snails (Gastropoda Pomacea sp.) and dipteran larvae such as Simulium sp. Significant differences in both frequency of occurrence and the volume consumed were observed for the different size classes, as well as between different seasons of the year. The condition factor indicated that the species was well fed. Sex was determined for 424 fish, of which 241 were male and 181 female, given a ratio of 1.3: 1 (male-female) which resulted significantly different (Chi 2: 16.14; P= 0.02). The gonadosomatic index indicated that reproduction occurs during the high water river phase, fecundity was high, and oocyte diameter was relatively small. Males reached sexual maturity at an average size of 67.08 mm SL, and females at 70.68 mm SL. Their life history strategy is seasonal r. Management and conservation plans for this species are required due to human intervention in their habitat, originated by the growing tourist activity in the area.
PDF (Español (España))
HTML (Español (España))


Allan, J. D., & Flecker, A. S. (1993). Biodiversity conservation in running waters. BioScience, 43, 32-43.

Aranha, J. M., Gomes, J. H., & Fogaça, F. N. (2000). Feeding of two species of Characidium, C. lanei and C. pterostictum (Characidiinae) in a coastal stream of Atlantic Forest (Southern Brazil). Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, 43, 527-531.

Araya, P., Hirt, L., & Flores, S. (2003). Biología reproductiva y crecimiento de Pimelodus clarias maculatus (Lac. 1803) (Pisces, Pimelodidae) en la zona de influencia del embalse Yacyretá. Ecología Austral, 13, 83-95.

Bellocq, M. I. (2000). A review of the trophic ecology of the Barn Owl in Argentina. Journal of Raptor Research, 34, 108-119.

Bojsen, B. H., & Barriga, R. (2002). Effects of deforestation on fish community structure in Ecuadorian Amazon streams. Freshwater Biology, 47, 2246-2260.

Domínguez, E., & Fernández, H. (2009). Macroinvertebrados bentónicos sudamericanos: Sistemática y biología. Tucumán, Argentina: Fundación Miguel Lillo.

Einum, S., & Fleming, I. A. (2002). Does within‐population variation in fish egg size reflect maternal influences on optimal values. The American Naturalist, 160, 756-765.

García-Alzate, C. A., Román-Valencia, C., & Barrero, A. M. (2012). Biología alimentaria y reproductiva de Farlowella vittata (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) en la cuenca del río Güejar, Orinoquía, Colombia. Revista de Biología Tropical, 60, 1873-1888.

García-Alzate, C. A., Román-Valencia, C., & Taphorn, D. C. (2015). A new species of Hemibrycon (Characiformes: Characidae), a freshwater fish from the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, Caribbean drainage, Colombia. Cuadernos de Investigación UNED, 7, 89-98.

Granado-Lorencio, C. (2002). Ecología de Peces. Sevilla: Secretariado de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Sevilla.

Hyslop, E. J. (1980). Stomach contents analysis-a review of methods and their application. Journal of Fish Biology, 17, 411-429.

Jiménez-Segura, L. F., Galvis-Vergara, G., Cala-Cala, P., García-Alzate, C. A., López-Casas, S., Ríos-Pulgarín, M. I., … & Álvarez-León, R. (2016). Freshwater fish faunas, habitats and conservation challenges in the Caribbean river basins of north‐western South America. Journal of Fish Biology, 89, 65-101.

Kawakami, E., & Vazzoler, G. (1980). Método gráfico e estimativa de índice alimentar aplicado no estudo de alimentação de peixes. Boletín del Instituto Oceanográfico de Venezuela, 29, 205-207.

Krebs, C. J. (1998). Ecological Methodology (2nd ed). Menlo Park California: Addison-Welsey Educational Publisher, Inc.

Lasso, C. A., Sánchez-Duarte, P., & Blanco-Libreros, J. F. (2015). XII. Cuencas pericontinentales de Colombia, Ecuador, Perú y Venezuela: Tipología, Biodiversidad, Servicios ecosistemicos y sostenibilidad de los ríos, quebradas y arroyos costeros. Bogotá, D.C., Colombia: Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt (IAvH).

Lauzanne, L. (1975). Regime alimentaire d´Hydrocyon forskalii dans le lac Tchad et ses tributaires. Hydrobiologia, 9, 105-121.

Luiz, E. A., Agostinho, A. A., Gomes, L. C., & Hahn, N. S. (1998). Ecología trófica de peixes em dois riachos da bacia do río Paraná. Revista Brasileira de Biología, 58, 273-285.

Mazzoni, R., & Resende, C. (2003). Seazonal diet shift a tetragonopterinae (Osteichthyes, Characidae) from the Ubatiba river, RJ, Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology, 63, 69-74.

Morales, J., & García-Alzate, C. A. (2016). Estructura trófica de los peces en arroyos del Corral de San Luis, cuenca del Bajo Magdalena, Caribe, Colombia. Revista de Biología Tropical, 64, 715-732.

Ortaz, M., Martín, R., & López-Ordaz, A. (2011). Variación espacial y temporal en la composición de la dieta de peces invertívoros en un río neotropical, Venezuela. Revista de Biología Tropical, 59, 1217-1231.

Ricker, W. E. (1968). Methods for assessment of fish production in fresh waters. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific.

Rodríguez-Barrios, J., Ospina-Tórres, R., & Turizo-Correa, R. (2011). Grupos funcionales alimentarios de macroinvertebrados acuáticos en el río Gaira, Colombia. Revista de Biología Tropical, 59, 1537-1552.

Roldan, G. (1988). Guía para el estudio de los macroinvertebrados acuáticos del Departamento de Antioquia. Bogotá: Impreades Presencia S.A. Colombia.

Román, P. C., Román-Valencia, C., & Taphorn, D. C. (2014). Trophic and reproductive ecology of a neotropical characid fish Hemibrycon brevispini (Teleostei: Characiformes). Caldasia, 36, 289-304.

Román-Valencia, C., & Botero, A. (2006). Trophic and reproductive ecology of a species of Hemibrycon (Pisces: Characidae) in Tinajas creek, Quindío River drainage, upper Cauca basin, Colombia. Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, Nueva Serie, 8, 1-8.

Román-Valencia, C., Ruiz, R., & Giraldo, A. (2008). Dieta y reproducción de dos especies sintópicas: Hemibrycon boquiae y Bryconamericus caucanus (Pisces: Characidae) en la quebrada Boquía, Río Quindío, Alto Cauca, Colombia. Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, Nueva Serie, 10, 55-62.

Shannon, C. E., & Weaver, W. (1949). The mathematical theory of communication. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.

Sokal, R. R., & F. J. Rohlf. (1995). Biometry. San Francisco: W.H. Freemand.

Streble, H., & Krauter, D. (1987). Atlas de los microorganismos de agua dulce: La vida en una gota de agua. Barcelona: Omega.

Thorsen, A., Marshall, C. T., & Kjesbu, O. S. (2006). Comparison of various potential fecundity models for north‐east Arctic cod Gadus morhua, L. using oocyte diameter as a standardizing factor. Journal of Fish Biology, 69, 1709-1730.

Vazzoler, A. E. (1996). Biología da reproduçâo de peixes teleósteos: teoría e práctica. São Paulo: EDUEM.

Wenner, A. M. (1972). Sex ratio as a function of size in marine Crustacea. American Naturalist, 106, 321-350.

Winemiller, K. O. (1989). Patterns of variation in life history among South American fishes in seasonal environments. Oecologia, 81, 225-241.

Winemiller, K. O., Marrero, C., & Taphorn, D. C. (1996). Perturbaciones causadas por el hombre a las poblaciones de peces de los llanos y del piedemonte Andino de Venezuela. Biollania, 12, 13-48.



Download data is not yet available.