A possible false negative: lack of evidence for trout predation on a remnant population of the endangered Macquarie perch, Macquaria australasica, in Cotter Reservoir, Australia
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To investigate possible predation on a remnant population of the endangered Macquaria australasica in Cotter Reservoir, ACT, Australia, stomach content analysis was conducted on 63 rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss and 24 brown trout Salmo trutta. Both predators were found to be piscivorous, with the frequency of piscivory generally increasing with body size. Goldfish Carassius auratus were the only fish species identified in stomach contents. That gape-limitation prevented trout from feeding on juvenile M. australasica was eliminated as a possibility based on: (1) the body depth of prey and the mouth-size of predators; and (2) evidence that another species of similar dimensions was ingested by trout. Whether or not trout predation on M. australasica is an important process in Cotter Reservoir remains to be clarified. Juvenile M. austalasica do not reside in the parts of the reservoir from which most trout were actually sampled in the current study. Therefore, it is proposed that the lack of evidence for predation on M. australasica is potentially a false-negative result.
New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research