What do Iowa Darter's consume?

        There have been quite a few studies about the nutrition habits of Iowa Darter's.  Their diet is pretty simple. The diet of the Iowa Darter fish (Estheostoma exile) primarily consists of organisms such as copepods, water fleas, midge and may fly larvae (Copes 1986).  Organisms such as these are classified as invertebrates. Invertebrates are species of animals (kingdom Metazoa) that lack a vertebral column.  Iowa darters primarily search the bottom of stream beds for their food supply (Copes 1986). Below is a chart depicting a study on the nutritional habits of the Iowa Darter.


Figure 1. Stomach contents of Iowa darters collected from Wyoming and Wisconsin, expressed in percent frequency of occurrence and estimated percent of total volume (in parentheses).












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