Age, growth, sexual maturity and diet of the Mediterranean barbel (Barbus peloponnesius petenyi) in the River Gradac (West Serbia, Yugoslavia)
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Mediterranean barbel Barbus peloponnesius petenyi from the River Gradac were studied during the period September 1985 - July 1993 with the aim to determine their growth and feeding habits. The age estimated from scales ranged from 1+ to 7+. In older age classes (5+, 6+ and 7+), only sexually mature females were caught. The length-weight relationship is expressed by the equation log W = -1.947 + 3.004 . log L. Relative condition factor was higher during August than during May and November. Males attain sexual maturity in their 2nd and 3rd year of life, whereas females in their 3rd and 4th year. The diet of Mediterranean barbel consists mainly of insect larvae and some Gastropoda and Amphipoda. The most numerous were Chironomidae and Simuliidae. Mediterranean barbel grow well in the River Gradac, which is a consequence of the favourable feeding conditions in this unpolluted ecosystem.