PRELIMINARY STUDIES ON RED BELLY TILAPIA COPTODON ZILLII CAUGHT FROM OYAN DAM, OGUN STATE, NIGERIA
The study was carried out on the biological aspect of Redbelly Tilapia, Coptodon zillii collected from Oyan Lake, Abeokuta North Local Government Area, Ogun State, Nigeria, with the aim of contributing to the baseline data for carrying out further studies on its ecology, conservation and development. A total of two hundred and fifty four fish (254) specimens were caught from the Ibaro landing site of the Lake between March and July, 2015. The total length (cm), standard length (cm), head length (cm), body width (cm), body depth (cm), snout length (cm), eye diameter (cm) and body weight (g) were measured. The stomach content was also assessed in order to determine its food and feeding habit. The mean total-length, standard-length, head-length, eye-diameter, snout-length, body-depth, body-width and body-weight during the study were 10.98±0.61cm, 8.56±0.14cm, 2.5±0.08cm, 3.67±0.15cm, 1.52±0.11cm,1.37±0.17cm, 4.05±0.07cm, 34.25±3.02g respectively and their ranges were (4.5-18.7cm), (3.2-15.2cm), (1.1-5.8cm), (2.0-6.8cm), (0.8-3.0cm), (1.1-4.8cm), (1.4-7.3cm) and (6.0-132.0g). A negative allometric (b<3) growth pattern was observed for the stock. The meristic characteristics of C. zillii were (DFR) XIV 10 – XVI 14; PVR, AFR III 8 –III 9; PFR 10 – 13 respectively. Stomach analysis showed that diatoms were the most abundant food items in the diet of C. zillii numerically, 29.98%, while desmids were the most abundant food items in terms of frequency occurrence, 27.82%. This study concluded that C. zillii is not morphometrically and meristically different from the already classified from previous studies. Also, C. zillii thrives well on available plants and detritus.
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