Diel behaviour and trophic ecology of Scolopsis bilineatus (Nemipteridae)

Boaden, A.E., and Kingsford, M.J. (2012) Diel behaviour and trophic ecology of Scolopsis bilineatus (Nemipteridae). Coral Reefs, 31 (3). pp. 871-883.

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Nemipterids are ubiquitous mid-sized fishes on Indo-Pacific reefs. We investigated the trophic ecology of the nemipterid species Scolopsis bilineatus at two locations on the Great Barrier Reef: One Tree Island and Orpheus Island. Fish ate a variety of benthic invertebrate taxa represented by rank: polychaetes, ophuiroids, sipunculids, nemerteans and small crustaceans. Polychaetes dominated the diet of fish of all sizes. Feeding behaviour and habitat utilization varied with the size of fish. Juveniles fed diurnally and adults nocturnally. Most juveniles fed rapidly in sand and rubble habitat during the day. In contrast, adults occupied shelter sites during the day, but dispersed onto sand to feed at night. A manipulative experiment demonstrated that small adult S. bilineatus exhibit opportunistic behaviour by responding to disturbance of the substratum for the purposes of feeding. Diurnal opportunistic feeding probably has a minimal influence on overall dietary intake. Identification of nocturnal feeding for adult S. bilineatus is of significant ecological importance, as nocturnal fishes often play unique and important roles in energy and nutrient cycling on reefs.

Item ID: 23345
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Keywords: Scolopsis bilineatus, Nemipteridae, diel patterns, nocturnal, disturbance, diet
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2012 05:26
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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