Madduppa, Hawis H., Zamani, Neviaty P., Subhan, Beginer, Aktani, Unggul and Ferse, Sebastian C.A. ORCID: (2014) Feeding behavior and diet of the eight-banded butterflyfish Chaetodon octofasciatus in the Thousand Islands, Indonesia. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 97 (12). pp. 1353-1365. DOI

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Marine fishes reach their highest diversity in coral reef ecosystems, which they utilize as territory, place of refuge and reproduction, and source of food. One type of predation among reef fishes is feeding on coral polyps, and a single, easily identifiable family of fishes, Chaetodontidae, contains the majority of obligate corallivore species. Multiple studies have examined the behaviour and ecology of Chaetodontidae and their relationship with the benthic habitat. However, many questions remain about their feeding ecology and food specifity at the species level. The present study is the first attempt to systematically decipher the feeding behavior of the obligate corallivore, Chaetodon octofasciatus. Field data were collected from four sites in the Thousand Islands, Indonesia, during two sampling campaigns in 2006, covering two seasons and two different depths. A high abundance of C. octofasciatus was positively related to hard coral cover. Out of a total of 57 scleractinian coral genera observed during the study period, 24 were utilized by C. octofasciatus. All fish collected during the study (n = 36) had >86 % nematocysts in their guts, supporting their classification as obligate corallivores. Based on the Strauss electivity index, C. octofasciatus displayed a preference for the coral genus Acropora at all depths, while preference for Fungia became more marked at greater depth. Both Acropora and Fungia were observed at high density at all sites, with Acropora density decreasing markedly with depth and Fungia density increasing. Bite rates showed an asymptotic relationship to Acropora density, levelling off between 15 and 20 bites/5 min. The existence of a strong relationship with live coral cover and the preference for specific genera such as Acropora designate C. octofasciatus as a potential bioindicator in the Thousand Islands reefs, while making it particular susceptible to the ongoing degradation of reefs in the region.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
ISSN: 0378-1909
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2019 15:02
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 12:59

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