Free Content Influence of Temperate Waters on the Behavior of the Tropical Anemonefish Amphiprion Clarkii at Miyake-Jima, Japan

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Recent studies on the reproductive behavior of members of the anemonefish genus Amphiprion strongly support the hypothesis that low population density, unpredictable distribution of host anemones, and increased risks from predation due to movements away from anemones have resulted in socially controlled protrandry as the reproductive strategy of anemonefishes. Tropical anemonefishes usually live around isolated anemones in social groups composed of a stable monogamous pair and from one to three ambisexual subadults or juveniles.

Amphiprion clarkii at Miyake-jima, in the warm temperate waters of southern Japan, shows many differences in behavior when compared to conspecifics and other anemonefishes from the tropics. These differences include (1) clustering behavior, (2) social groupings of more than two adults, (3) lengthy travel between anemones, (4) displacement of territorial adults by invading adults from other anemones, (5) conspicuous sexual dichromatism, (6) relatively unstable monogamous pairs, (7) occasional polygamy, (8) comparatively high fecundity, and (9) short, intense breeding seasons. These differences are attributed to ecological parameters imposed by temperate waters, including reduced predator pressures, large clusters of sea anemones, and cold winter water temperatures.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1980

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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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