NANFA-- Sand ingestion [was Hogsucker husbandry]

Hoover, Jan J ERDC-EL-MS (
Thu, 1 Jul 2004 18:15:01 -0500

The reference is:
Matthews, William J. 1977. Ingestion of sand by the duskystripe shiner,
Notropis pilsbryi Fowler. Southwestern Nat 22: 537-538.

Six specimens, 66-85 mm SL, were found in a single collection that had
ingested substantial quantities of sand. Guts were distended. Sand
averaged 17% of total wet weight of fish. Sand was coarse (73% > 0.4 mm).
No food was present with the sand. Other fish in the collection (49
specimens) did not contain large quantities of sand, but those fish were
less than 65 mm. Examination of > 2000 specimens from 39 collections showed
no other fish ingesting large amounts of sand. Phenomenon was apparently
rare and confined to larger fish.

I thought that this paper addressed possible explanations for this peculiar
behavior (e.g., digestive aids, micro-prey or "meio-prey," ballast, etc.)
but was wrong. Was probably remembering discussions with the author (Bill
was my major prof).

The mystery and allure of "ammophagy" continues.
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