• Gobioninae;
  • habitat selection;
  • riverbed structure;
  • size distribution

ABSTRACT:  Habitat selection of the pike gudgeon Pseudogobio esocinus esocinus (Cyprinidae) was examined in the Nakagawa River in northern Kyushu, Japan. The study area was 80 m long with two meanders comprising three riffles and two pools, located 20 km upstream from the river mouth. The pike gudgeon were visually counted underwater. Larvae and juveniles were observed in the shallow and slow-flowing water near the shores. Simultaneously, young and adult individuals were observed to inhabit the river bed. Principal component analysis and cluster analysis were applied to estimate the microhabitat selections of the larvae, juveniles and other individuals by using four variables (water depth, current velocity, particle size of substrate and amount of organic matter). The larvae and juveniles inhabited the shallow (<30 cm) and slow-flowing waters (<6.5 cm/s) near the shore; habitat selection was independent of particle size of the substrate and the amount of organic matter present. Young and adult individuals inhabited the river bed independent of the four variables.