Averting danger under the bridge: video confirms that adult small-toothed morays tolerate salinity before and during tidal influx

Ebner, Brendan C., Donaldson, James A., Courtney, Robert, Fitzpatrick, Richard, Starrs, Danswell, Fletcher, Cameron S., and Seymour, Jamie (2019) Averting danger under the bridge: video confirms that adult small-toothed morays tolerate salinity before and during tidal influx. Pacific Conservation Biology, 26 (2). pp. 182-189.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1071/PC19023
 
1


Abstract

Safety considerations for researchers shape ecological research approaches in dangerous aquatic environments. A series of recent studies has demonstrated that the moray Gymnothorax polyuranodon (Family Muraenidae) occupies freshwater in the adult phase. However, its potential use of tidal habitat remains largely unexplored, due partly to the challenges of performing underwater research within estuarine crocodile territories. In September 2017, opportunistic snorkel-based observations revealed individuals of this species occupying lairs at an upper tidal creek site during low tide (under freshwater conditions). This provided an opportunity to tailor field-based measurements of the salinity tolerance of this species a fortnight later during a more substantial high tide. Specifically, remote underwater video, snorkel and above-water observations of morays, combined with salinity measurements, reveal that G. polyuranodon is capable of tolerating salinity of at least 14.4 for several hours and can inhabit salinity of 19 for a period of several minutes. This finding, when viewed in synergy with other relevant studies of G. polyuranodon, indicates that the species is either catadromous or amphidromous or capable of either strategy.

Item ID: 65156
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2204-4604
Keywords: crocodile, evolution, habitat use, observation, salinity gradient, tide
Copyright Information: (C) CSIRO 2020
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2020 03:11
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 1
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page