Title

The foods and feeding habits of subadult Crocodylus porosus Schneider in northern Australia

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Taylor, JA 1979, 'The foods and feeding habits of subadult Crocodylus porosus Schneider in northern Australia', Australian Wildlife Research, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 347-359.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WR9790347

Abstract

Stomach contents were studied for 289 live young crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) less than 180 cm long, collected from coast, river and swamp of Arnhem Land, Melville Island and Grant Island, Northern Territory, Australia; the crocodiles were then released. Tables give orders and families and some generic and specific names for prey or carrion eaten and for 3 parasites on the crocodiles, for a dry and a wet season in 1975-76. Between crocodiles 50 to 120 cm long and those smaller or larger there was no significant difference in the proportion of crocodiles having eaten crabs, shrimps, fish or insects or with empty stomachs, but only the larger crocodiles ate mammals or birds. Frequency of different foods eaten differed significantly with type of habitat or with salinity. Weight of food or incidence of empty stomachs did not differ between seasons, habitats or salinities. Condition of the crocodiles was significantly poorer for those from freshwater swamps than for those from lower mangrove or flood plains, and highest for those from upper mangrove. Main foods in both seasons were crustaceans, mainly crabs of subfamily Sesarminae and shrimps of genus Macrobrachium. The only fish eaten regularly was Pseudogobius sp., a slow-moving fish found by the water's edge. Amphibians were not found in the stomach.