Piper school in large groups close to the water surface during daylight hours, whereas at night the schools break up and individual fish can be observed swimming slowly through the water. Analysis of gut contents indicates that during the day piper feed primarily on copepods, and terrestrial insects trapped on the water surface; after dark the demersal zooplankton which enter the water column form the major dietary component. Prey selectivity is evident in that certain groups present in the plankton are not found in the stomach contents of piper, and that the size of prey taken is biased towards the larger size classes of plankton. Laboratory experiments establish that piper are capable of locating prey in total darkness, and that under these conditions live prey are consumed in a higher proportion, and much more quickly than dead prey. These results strengthen the hypothesis that piper use their anterior lateral line to feed on zooplankton at night.