Age-dependent strategies related to lionfish activities in the Mexican Caribbean

Periodo de realización: 2018/06/01 al 2018/01/01

Tipo: Artículo científico

Lugar(es) de estudio: Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexique
Resumen: "Lionfish are successful invasive predators in the Caribbean region and inhabit a large range of habitats. Our study in the Caribbean has focused on the relationships between the biological characteristics of lionfish particularly their size, their activities and use of those different habitats. In this study, we observed a high number of lionfish individuals, focusing on the behavioural activities and biological traits in relation to different habitats and environmental characteristics. We monitored 793 individuals, recording their activities, biological traits, and habitat characteristics. Our results report that lionfish are not solitary, but frequently form groups for many activities. We provide evidence of differences between lionfish habitat use according to activity, and the size of individual fish. Considering the size is correlated with age, coral reefs appear to be the preferred habitat of older individuals, whereas the youngest lionfish use a diversity of habitats, ranging from mangroves to coral reefs. In addition, this study suggests that predation of lionfish is age-dependent strategy, and depends on time and the tone of the environment. Lionfish do not only use the head-down posture to catch prey but also horizontal and head-up postures. The youngest lionfish hunt mainly in dark areas and during the night while the older fish were observed hunting mostly during the day and in clear areas. These new aspects of lionfish ecology and behaviour are discussed in light of their invasive success. "

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