The Food Of The Nile Perch, Lates Niloticus (l.), After The Disappearance Of The Haplochromine Cichlids In The Nyanza Gulf Of Lake Victoria (kenya)
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After the disappearance of the haplochromine species in the Nyanza Gulf of Lake Victoria as a result of predation by Lates niloticus, the latter has turned its attention to aquatic invertebrates and other fish. Changes in the diet of the Nile perch with increase in its size have been observed: young L. niloticus preyed mostly on invertebrates, including crustaceans and various small aquatic insects; large, immature L. niloticus supplemented the invertebrate diet with both young and small fish; adults above 80 cm total length were mainly piscivorous. L. niloticus feeds on fish prey of about one third its own length. The tendency of L. niloticus to switch from one prey item to another, depending on availability, is reported; e.g., in the Nyanza Gulf, the prey diet has shifted from the haplochromine to Caridina nilotica and L. niloticus juveniles.