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Food selection of a corallivorous butterflyfish Chaetodon austriacus in the Red Sea, with particular emphasis on size and fish symbionts of corals

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The exquisite butterflyfish Chaetodon austriacus feeds mainly on Acropora, Pocillopora, Montipora and Stylophora in the northern Red Sea. Large colonies of Acropora are preferred over smaller colonies and other coral genera, whereas avoidance is indicated for corals that are occupied by certain coral-associated gobiid fishes of the genus Gobiodon. It is suggested that, apart from coral identity, colony size and potential repellent effects of particular coral symbionts are both important sources of variation in the food selectivity of corallivorous chaetodotids.

Keywords: Acropora; Gobiodon; colony size; coral reefs; feeding behaviour

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Marine Biology, University of Vienna, Althanstr. 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria

Publication date: 2009-10-01

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