general info about Theriologia Ukrainica

Theriologia Ukrainica

ISSN 2616-7379 (print) • ISSN 2617-1120 (online)

2021 • Vol. 21 • Contents of volume >>>

download pdfMartsiv, M., I. Dykyy. 2021. Comparative analysis of the diet of members of the families Mustelidae and Canidae. Theriologia Ukrainica, 21: 133–140.



Comparative analysis of the diet of members of the families Mustelidae and Canidae


Mariia Martsiv (
Ihor Dykyy (


Ivan Franko National University of Lviv (Lviv, Ukraine)


Theriologia Ukrainica. 2021. Vol. 21: 133–140.




English, with Ukrainian summary, titles of tables, captures to figs


The article analyzes 151 food samples of carnivoran mammals of two families. It was found that the diet includes 49 food items in the studied species of the family Canidae and 42 items in species of the family Mustelidae, of both plant and animal origin. It was revealed that plant food is an important component of the diet of predators, since the frequency of registration of these objects is 46.4%. Most often, it is the remains of cereals and plant seeds. Rodents are the main food for both families (19% in Canidae, 21% in Mustelidae). A seasonal change in diet for both families was noted. Members of the family Mustelidae consume plants more often in summer and winter, while in in spring and autumn mammals prevail in their diet when the share of juicy fruits is the lowest. Rodents are consumed throughout the year, but their largest share was noted in spring, when this family is characterized by the greatest variety of food (Shannon's index is 2.0). For members of the family Canidae, the most important component of the diet in winter is dry fruits. The number of rodents in their diet also increases in spring. The summer period is characterized by the consumption of invertebrates and the absence of animal carcasses in the diet. In autumn, the share of juicy fruits increases and during this period the diet of Canidae is the most diverse (1.9). The lowest variety of food in species of the two families was registered in summer. Competition between the studied families may increase in spring when the most important food for the representatives of both Canidae and Mustelidae is rodents. There are some sex-related trophic preferences in both families. In particular, males of the family Mustelidae consume rodents more often (68.7%), while females more often feed on plants (56.1%). As for the family Canidae, the analysis was carried out on the example of the red fox. It was found that females of this species prefer plant foods and there are no ungulates in their diet. Males consume fewer plants (41.4%) and often forage in cattle burial grounds and landfills. Accordingly, the diet of males is more diverse compared to that in females. The Shannon index is 3.3 and 2.5, respectively.


trophic connections, diet of predators, Western Ukraine



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