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Territorial defence by the Brazilian damsel Stegastes fuscus (Teleostei: Pomacentridae)

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Territorial defence by Brazilian damselfish Stegastes fuscus was studied in north-east Brazil through underwater observations. The fish mostly fed on Gellidium sp. and strongly defended a territory with a mean size of 2 m2 (range 1·27–3·07 m2); its mean ±s.d.feeding rate was 8·73 ± 2·44 bites min−1. Stegastes fuscus responded similarly to all intruding fish species, with aggressive behaviour becoming more pronounced only with an increase in the number of fishes in the sampled area. Analysis of attacks elicited by different fish species placed within S. fuscus’ territory, however, showed that it launched more attacks on conspecifics than on other fishes.
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Keywords: Brazil; Stegastes fuscus; behaviour; feeding; pomacentridae; territory

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Sistemática e Ecologia, Centro de Ciências Exatas e da Natureza, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, 58059-900 João Pessoa, Paraiba, Brazil 2: Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal

Publication date: 2006-07-01

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