Volume 73

An assessment of the biology and ecology of Sicydium spp. (Family Gobiidae) from Yallahs and Swift Rivers, Jamaica

Duscent, C; E. Hyslop
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Date: November, 2020

Pages: 19-20

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Three Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Virtual

Country: Virtual


The suckstone goby (Sicydium spp.) is from one of the most speciose and widely distributed fish families in tropical and subtropical zones of the world. Sicydium spp, is abundant in Jamaican rivers; but little known about this species in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean. Sicydium are migratory freshwater fishes that spend most of their life cycle in rivers, but larvae emerge and drift downstream to the sea where further development of juveniles occurs (Bell 1994). The aim of this study was to compare feeding habits of Sicydium present on the island. Sicydium were captured using dip nets and bottom kick nets at three sites along a south coast (Yallahs River) and north coast river (Swift River). A total of 253 gobies were captured, measured, weighed and stomach contents analysed. The results indicate that both populations of Sicydium sp. are omnivorous and feed primarily on organic detritus and sand. The diet of Sicydium sp., from the Swift River consisted of organic detritus, sand, Chironomidae, Trichoptera, Cladophora, fish eggs and fish scales. Sicydium from Yallahs River consume similar items in addition to Oscillatoria, Fragillaria, Spirogyra, Cladophora and Ultorix. Schoener’s index of diet overlap (alpha = 0.679) and Spearman’s rank correlation test (rs = 0.240, p<0.005) showed that there is a biologically significant similarity between the diets of Sicydium in both locations. Given the diet composition of Sicydium in both rivers, this species contributes significantly to nutrient availability and cycling in tropical rivers.

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