Dietary overlap among coral-feeding butterﬂyﬁshes (Chaetodontidae) at Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef
Pratchett, Morgan S. (2005) Dietary overlap among coral-feeding butterﬂyﬁshes (Chaetodontidae) at Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef. Marine Biology, 148 . pp. 373-382.
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This study documented the range of corals, and other prey types, consumed by 20 species of but- terﬂyﬁshes, which co-occur at Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Six species (Chaetodon aureofasciatus, C. baronessa, C. lunulatus, C. plebius, C. rainfordi and C. trifascialis) fed almost exclusively on scleractinian corals, and a further eight species (C. citrinellus, C. kleinii, C. lunula, C. melannotus, C. raﬄesi, C. speculum, C. ulietensis,and C. unima- culatus) took a signiﬁcant proportion of their bites from corals. The other six species (C. auriga, C. ep- hippium, C. lineolatus, C. semeion, C. vagabundus, and Chelmon rostratus) rarely consumed coral, but fed on small discrete prey items from non-coral substrates. Coral-feeding butterﬂyﬁshes consumed a wide range of corals. Chaetodon lunulatus, for example, consumed 51 coral species from 24 diﬀerent genera. However, there was up to 72% dietary overlap between coral-feeding butterﬂyﬁshes, with 11/14 species feeding predomi- nantly on Acropora hyacinthus or Pocillopora dami- cornis. The most specialised corallivore, C. trifascialis, took 88% of bites from A. hyacinthus. Chaetodon tri- fascialis defend territories encompassing one or more colonies of A. hyacinthus, and may have prevented other species such as C. lunulatus from feeding even more extensively on this coral. This study has shown that coexistence of coral-feeding butterﬂyﬁshes occurs despite an apparent lack of partitioning of prey resources. While diﬀerent coral-feeding butterﬂyﬁshes were more or less selective in their use of diﬀerent coral prey, virtually all species fed predominantly on A. hyacinthus or P. damicornis.
|Item Type:||Article (Refereed Research - C1)|
|Keywords:||butterflyfishes, Chaetodontidae, scleractinian corals, diet, preferences|
|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%|
|Deposited On:||03 Aug 2009 13:55|
|Last Modified:||18 Oct 2013 00:39|
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