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Morichales are lowland streams in South American savannas with riparian forest dominated by the moriche palm (Mauritia flexuosa). We sampled littoral habitats from ten flooded vegetated patches (dominated by Mauritiella aculeate) and six sand banks in two months of the dry season (Feb-Mar 2005) in a stream in the savannas of Apure State, Venezuela. We collected samples that compromised 12,407 individual fishes of 107 species. Small-bodied fishes (< 100 mm), representing diverse trophic and life history strategies, were abundant. The most abundant species were in the families Characidae and Cichlidae. Fish assemblages from flooded vegetated patches differed significantly from those on adjacent sand banks. High structural complexity along vegetated shoreline habitats of morichal streams likely contributes to species richness and affects assemblage composition.


Originally published in Neotropical Ichthyology.

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