The relationship between spatial preference and diet in four species of the genus Notropis (Pisces: Cyprinidae) was investigated in Roxbury Creek, a small stream in southern Wisconsin. Characteristic spatial distributions for each species were determined from frequency of catch in unbaited minnow traps set at varying heights and locations in the pools of the stream. The spatial distributions of aquatic invertebrates were also investigated. Data suggest a separation between the sedentary bottom fauna and the drift fauna. Data on the food habits of Notropis suggest strong overlap (69%-84%) in the invertebrate genera chosen by the four species. Differences in food habits relate principally to differences in space utilzation with mid-water species tending to feed on drifting invertebrates, wheras bottom dwellers fed principally on benthic forms. It is concluded that spatial rather than taxonomic considerations are the chief determinants of prey selection, and that this pattern of resource subdivision tends to reduce competition among these four species.
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Mendelson, J. 1975. Feeding relationships among species of Notropis (Pisces: Cyprinidae) in a Wisconsin stream. Ecological Monographs 45:199 - 230.