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Free Content Comparative Use of Food and Space by Three Bahamian Butterflyfishes

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The use of food and space resources were compared for three western Atlantic butterflyfishes (Chaetodon capistratus, C. striatus, and C. ocellatus) inhabiting the same coral reef environment near the eastern end of Grand Bahama Island. All showed significant differences in their distribution and abundance patterns within the broad framework of the reef system. Two species, C. striatus and C. ocellatus, displayed a significant inverse relationship in abundance among the five reef zones investigated. The diets of the two were found to overlap extensively. The third species, C. capistratus, was found to broadly overlap the other two species in its use of space, but showed distinct differences in food utilization and feeding behavior. Anthozoan tissue, mainly coral polyps, comprised a large portion of the diet of each species. Polychaete tentacles, however, were much more important in the diets of C. striatus and C. ocellatus than C. capistratus.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1991-05-01

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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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