Food and Feeding, Length-Weight and Condition Factor of the Catfish Synodontis membranaceus (EtieneGeoffroy Saint Hilaire, 1809) (Osteichthyes: Mochokidae) from Lower Benue River, Makurdi, Nigeria
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Volume 5, Issue 4, August 2016, Pages: 87-96
Received: Mar. 7, 2016; Accepted: Mar. 25, 2016; Published: Jul. 13, 2016
Views 3407      Downloads 115
Atile John I., Department of Biological Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria
Shima Judith N., Department of Biological Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria
Akombo Pauline M., Department of Biological Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria
Article Tools
Follow on us
Food and Feeding, length-weight and condition factor of the Catfish Synodontis membranaceus from the Lower Benue River at Makurdi, Nigeria, was studied for 12- month period from July, 2013 to June, 2014. A total number of 202 specimens, comprising of 101 males and 101 females at a ratio of 1:1 were studied. The Length-Weight Relationship (LWR), correlation coefficient (r) for all males and females were highly positive and significant at (P<0.01), with r values of 0.972 for males, 0.899 for females and 0.952 for combined sexes. The mean b values (regression coefficient) were 2.68 in all the males, 2.46 in all the females and 2.63 in combined sexes indicating that all the sexes had negative allometric growth pattern. The mean condition factor (K) for both sexes ranged from 2.21-3.35. The lowest K range (1.81) for males was observed in July, 2013 while the highest K range (3.05) was observed in April, 2014. Similarly, the lowest K range (1.83) for females was observed in August, 2013 with the highest K range of 3.14 in the same month. Out of the 202 stomachs examined, only 9 males (8.91%) and 5 females (4.95%) had empty stomachs, about 91.09% of males and 95.0% of females had varied quantities of food items in their stomachs. Synodontis membranaceus in the Lower Benue River was found to be omnivorous, feeding on food items, which included artificial meal, plant remains, variety of algae, insect parts and larvae, bivalves (Molluscs), crustaceans, protozoa, worms, detritus, sand particles and mud and many unidentified quantities of food items.
Synodontis membranaceus, Food, Feeding, Lower Benue River
To cite this article
Atile John I., Shima Judith N., Akombo Pauline M., Food and Feeding, Length-Weight and Condition Factor of the Catfish Synodontis membranaceus (EtieneGeoffroy Saint Hilaire, 1809) (Osteichthyes: Mochokidae) from Lower Benue River, Makurdi, Nigeria, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Vol. 5, No. 4, 2016, pp. 87-96. doi: 10.11648/j.aff.20160504.11
Copyright © 2016 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abowei, J. F. N. (2009). Aspects of Hemisynodontis membanaceus (Geoffrey- St, Hilare, 1809) Population Dynamics from the Fresh Water Reaches of Lower Nun River, Niger Delta, Nigeria. Advance Journal of Food and Technology, 1 (1): 27-34.
Adeyemi, S. O. (2011). Study of some physico-chemical parameters and their effect on Potential Fish Yield in Gbadikere Lake. Bassa, Kogi State, Nigeria. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 10 (5): 475-479.
Akange, E. T (2011). Feeding Ecology of four Catfishes (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes) in Lower River Benue, Nigeria. M.Sc. Thesis (Unpuplished), Benue State University, Makurdi.
Akombo, P. M., Atile, J. I., Adikwu, I. A. and Araoye, P. A. (2011). Morphometric Measurements and growth patterns of four species of the genus Synodontis (Cuvier, 1816) from Lower Benue River, Makurdi, Nigeria. International Journal of Fisheries and Aquaculture, 3 (15): 263-270.
Akombo, P. M. (2014). Population Dynamics of the Catfish (Synodontis, Cuvier, 1816) in the Lower Benue River, Nigeria. Ph.D Thesis, Benue State University, Makurdi. Unpublished.
Akombo, P. M., Shima, J. N., Adikwu, I. A., and Araoye, P. A. (2010). Intestine to standard length and food habits of Synodontis species from the lower Benue River, Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Fisheries 7 (1&2): 8-15.
Bagenal, T. B. (1978). Aspects of fish fecundity, pp 75-95. In: S. D. Gerking (ed) Ecology of Freshwater Fish Production, Blackwell Scientific. Oxford England.
Bagenal. T. B. and Tesch, F. W. (1978). Methods for assessment of Fish Production I Freshwaters. T. B. Bagenal (9ed.) I. B. P. Handbook No. 33rdedn. Oxford Blackwell Publications, 365.
Berg. J. (1979). Dicussion of Method Investigating the Food of Fishes with Reference to a Preliminary Study of the prey of Gobiusculus flavescens. Marine Biology, 50: 263-273.
Hassan, A. A. (2007). Studies on Population dynamics of two fresh water fish species: Synodontisschall and Mormyruskannume from Nile at Assiut, Egypt. M.Sc. Thesis. Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Assiut university, Assiut, Egypt.
Hynes, H. B. N. (1950). The food of freshwater Stickleback, Gasterosteusaculiatus and Pygosteuspungitius with a review of methods used in studies of the food of fishes. J. Ani. Ecol. 19: 15-36.
Hyslop, E. J. (1980). Stomach Content Analysis-A review of Methods and Their Application. J. Fish. Biol. 17: 411-429.
Khallaf, E. A. and Authman, M. N. (2010). Some biological aspects of the Nile Mormirid fish (Mormyrus kannume, Forsskal, 1775) from Bahr Shebeen Nilotic canal, Egypt. World J. Fish Mar. Sci., 2: 357-375.
Lagler, K. F., Bardach, J. E., Litter, R. R. and Passimo, D. R. M. (1977). Ichthyology. John Wiley and Sons Inc., 506.
Lalèyè, P., Chikou, A., Gnohssou, P., Vandewalle, J. C. P. and Teugels, G. (2006). Studies on the Biology of two species of catfish Synodontis schall and Synodontis nigrita (Ostariphysi: Mochokidae) from the Ouémé River, Bénin. Belg. J. Zool., 136 (2): 193-201.
Meye, J. A., Omoruwou, P. E. and Mayor, E. D. (2008). Food and feeding habits of Synodontis ocellifer (Boulenger, 1900) from River Adofi, Southern Nigeria. Tropical Freshwater Biology, 17 (1): 1-12.
Midhat, A. E. K., Mohammed, M. N., A. and Seham, A. I. (2012). Environmental studies on Synodontisschall (Bloch and Schneider, 1801), (Pisces: Mochokidae) in The River Nile at Gizza Sector, Egypt: Biological aspects of Population Dynamics. Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic, 7: 104-133.
Nedeco (1959). Studies and Recommendations: Improvement of Niger and Benue Rivers. Amsterdam. North Holland Publishing Company, 19-27.
Nieto-Navarro, J. T., Zetina-Rejon, Arreguin-Sanchez, Arcros-Huitron, N. E. and Petria-Mesina (2010). Length-weight relationships of dermersal fish from the Eastern Coast of California. Journal of fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 5 (6): 494-502.
Ogbe, F. G., Ataguba, G. A. & Okosuwe, E. H. (2008). Feeding Habits and growth parameters of Hydrocynusforskaliiand Alestes nurse in River Benue, Makurdi, Nigeria. J. Appl. Biosciences. 11: 576-583.
Ogbe and Fagade 2002 (Please include this reference)
Ogbe, F. G. & Fagade, S. O. (2002). Distribution, Abundance and Dimensional Features of Clarotes laticeps (Ruppell) and C. macropterus (Daget) in Lower Benue River, Makurdi, Nigeria. Journal of prospects in Sciences. 6: 18-23.
Oronsaye, C. G. & Nakpodia, F. A. (2005). A Comperative Study of the Food and Feeding Habits of Chrysichthysnigrodigitus and Bryanus nurse in a tropical river. Park J. Sc, ind Res. 48 (2): 118-121.
Owolabi, O. D. (2008). The Dietary Habits of the Upside-down catfish, Synodontis membranaceus (Osteichthyes: Mochokidae) in Jebba Lake. Rev. Biol. Trop. (International Journal of Tropical Biology), 56 (2): 931-936.
Reid, M. G. and Sydenhan, H. L. (1979). A check-list of Lower Benue River fishes. Icthyo – geographical review of the Benue River, West-Africa. Journal of Natural History, 13: 14-67.
Solomon, S. G., Ataguba, G. A. & Baiyewunmi, A. S. (2009). Study of Dry Season Zooplankton of lower river Benue at Makurdi, Nigeria. J. Anim. Pl. Sci. 1 (3): 42-50.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186