A functional evaluation of feeding in the surgeonfish Ctenochaetus striatus: the role of soft tissues

Tebbett, Sterling B., Goatley, Christopher H.R., Huertas Martin, Victor, Mihalitsis, Michalis, and Bellwood, David R. (2018) A functional evaluation of feeding in the surgeonfish Ctenochaetus striatus: the role of soft tissues. Royal Society Open Science, 5.

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Abstract

Ctenochaetus striatus is one of the most abundant surgeonfishes on Indo-Pacific coral reefs, yet the functional role and feeding ecology of this species remain unclear. This species is reported to possess a rigid structure in its palate that is used for scraping, but some authors have reported that this element is comprised of soft tissue. To resolve the nature and role of this structure in the feeding ecology of C. striatus we examined evidence from anatomical observations, scanning electron microscopy, histology, X-ray micro-computed tomography scanning, highspeed video and field observations. We found that C. striatus from the Great Barrier Reef possess a retention plate (RP) on their palates immediately posterior to the premaxillary teeth which is soft, covered in a thin veneer of keratin with a papillate surface. This RP appears to be used during feeding, but does not appear to be responsible for the removal of material, which is achieved primarily by a fast closure of the lower jaw. We infer that the RP acts primarily as a 'dustpan', in a 'dustpan and brush' feeding mechanism, to facilitate the collection of particulate material from algal turfs.

Item ID: 52630
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: coral reef fish, detritivory, morphology, Great Barrier Reef, sediment, Acanthuridae
Copyright Information: © 2018 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
ISSN: 2054-5703
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2018 07:39
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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