What are the characteristics of lionfish and other fishes that influence their association in diurnal refuges?
Periodo de realización: 2017/06/01 al 2017/01/01
Tipo: Artículo científico
Lugar(es) de estudio: Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexique
Resumen: "In Caribbean reefs, the lion fish Pterois volitans is an invasive species that causes severe negative ecological effects, especially as this crepuscular predator consumes very diverse prey. Lionfish are not active during the day and stay in their refuges, sharing these spaces with various other fishes. The aim of this study is to determine which fishes are associated with the lionfish in their shelters, and what characteristics both the invasive and native species may influence and explain such coexistence between a predator and its potential prey. Through diving and snorkelling, we visited 141 lionfish refuges, mostly caves, where we observed 204 lionfish and 494 other fish from 16 native species. We recorded species and abundance, as well as lionfish size and abundance. Half of the lionfish were observed in groups and the majority were large-sized. The association with most fish species seems fortuitous, but three species, Gramma loreto, Chromis cyanea, and Canthigaster rostrata, were frequently observed in association with lionfish. Numerous fish juveniles, most likely Scarus coeruleus, were also observed together with the invasive predator. The more commonly associated fishes, particularly, G. loreto are mostly associated with large-sized lionfish that were found in groups. The associated fishes are also generally found in groups. Gramma loreto is a potential cleaner of the lionfish"