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Free Content Associations of Seven West Indian Reef Fishes with Sea Anemones

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Abstract:

Seven species of West Indian reef fishes are added to the three already known to associate with the sea anemone Condylactis gigantea (Weinland). They are: Malacoctenus macropus (Poey), M. boehlkei Springer, M. gilli (Steindachner), M. triangulatus Springer (Family Clinidae); Coryphopterus glaucofraenum Gill (Family Gobiidae); juvenile Thalassoma bifasciatum (Bloch) (Family Labridae); and juvenile Haemulon flavolineatum (Desmarest) (Family Pomadasyidae). These associations are facultative. Condylactis is a major structural component in the areas observed, and it is being utilized by these fishes as additional protection from predators. The species of Malacoctenus are able to rest in full contact with the tentacles with no apparent harm, while those of Coryphopterus, Thalassoma, and Haemulon cannot. The mechanism allowing the species of Malacoctenus to remain in the tentacles without being massively stung is not understood at this time.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1976

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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