Reef fish foraging associations: "nuclear-follower" behavior or an ephemeral interaction?

Pereira, Pedro H.C., Feitosa, João L.L., Chaves, Laís C.T., and de Araújo, Maria E. (2012) Reef fish foraging associations: "nuclear-follower" behavior or an ephemeral interaction? In: Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium. 13B_2. pp. 1-5. From: 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, 9-13 July 2012, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

A widespread feeding association among reef fishes involves nuclear and attendant species. The former causes a bottom disturbance attracting several species known as followers, which feed on items exposed by this activity. Herein we propose a novel classification for foraging associations namely "ephemeral foraging association" formerly grouped together as nuclear-follower behavior. For this classification, the interaction between the goldspotted eel Myrichthys ocellatus and other six reef fish species was taken as a study case. The present study was conducted in the Tamandaré Reef Complex, Pernambuco State, Northeastern Brazil (8°44'26"S and 35°05'11"W). Observations were performed during daylight periods while snorkeling with a total of 55 hours of direct observation. We recorded 18 occurrences of the "ephemeral foraging association", while 42 individuals were observed. Interactions lasted from 30 seconds to 5 minutes and total fish lengths (TL) ranged from four to ten centimeters. Most ephemeral foraging species were carnivores and territorial omnivores. Based on factors such as the way the associations are triggered, time spent in the association, cognitive reactions and territoriality of attendants the recorded interactions may be separated into a different category.

Item ID: 22390
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-0-9808572-5-2
Keywords: foraging behavior, ephemeral foraging association, opportunist interaction, Myrichthys ocellatus
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Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2012 02:51
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour @ 33%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 33%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 34%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 33%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 33%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 34%
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