JFacApplBiolSciHU_18_103.pdf 1.53 MB
Mixed-Species Groupings in Reef Fishes of Kuchierabu Island
1) The mixed-species groupings of reef fishes have been observed at Kuchierabu Island (30°25' N, 130° 15'E) in October 1971.
2) The mixed-species groupings has been defined as the groupings formed by multispecies fishes that were feeding and wandering together as a unit.
3) The fishes found in these groupings numbered 70 species belonging to the 13 families: Scaridae, Acanthuridae, Labridae, Mullidae, Siganidae, Chaetodontidae, Zanclidae, Girellidae, Kyphosidae, Lethrinidae, Lutjanidae, Oplegnathidae, and Serranidae.
4) These groupings consisted of 2 to 12 species and of 2 to 156 specimens in the study areas.
5) These species and specimen compositions were not stable but changed one to ten times in the space of five minutes.
6) According to the family overlappings, these grouping could be divided in two types: The groupings mainly formed by Scaridae, Acanthuridae, Labridae, Mullidae, Siganidae, Chaetodontidae, and Zanclidae; and the groupings formed by Girellidae and Kyphosidae.
7) In the former groupings combinations of family groups in A and between A and C were observed frequently, but those of the other groups were rare: A group contained Scaridae or Acauthuridae, or both; B group contained Signidae; C group contained Labridae or Mullidae, or both.
8) The family of the Scaridae and the Acanthuridae frequently showed up in every grouping in many species, the others with only a few species.
9) The specimens tend to be larger in the species of Scaridae and Acanthuridae than in those of Labridae and Mullidae usually, yet it is not always so.
10) The dominance of each species changed in each grouping. They tended to be larger in Scaridae and Acanthuridae than in the other.
11) According to the overlappings of subfamily Scarinae fishes in these groupings, size preference were observed clearly in these fishes. The large specimens prefered to form groupings with the large ones, the small ones rather with the small ones.
12) The mixed-species groupings were divided into four types according to the difference in size of the Scarinae fishes belonging to the group: the groupings contained Scarinae fishes of 6-10cm (I); the groupings contained those of 11-15cm (II); the groupings contained those of 16-20cm (III); and the groupings contained those of 21 cm (IV). Their species compositions were similar for II, III, and IV, but different between I and IV. Their species and size compositions were similar between II and III and between III and IV, but different in I and IV. Size preferences also were recognized between Scarinae fishes and the others at the time of grouping formation.
13) The groupings predominantly consisted of small size specimens found in shallow waters, those of a large size were found in waters from shallow to deep, and those of Girellidae and Kyphosidae were found in shallower waters than the formers groupings.
14) The reef fishes in these groupings were wandering and feeding the diets on the surface of bottom substrates.
15) According to the field observations of feeding behavior and the food habits, for the herbivorous fishes the mixed-species groupings are considered to be formed for defence against attacks of Pomacentridae fishes, which keep the territories over the reef, at the time of feeding and in case of the carnivorous they serve to capture small prey driven from cover by the formers.
16) The mixed-species groupings are considered to be one of the feeding strategy of the wandering fishes.