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Free Content Abundance, Distribution and Behavior of a Commensal Amphipod Stenothoe Valida Dana on the Hydrocoral Millepora Complanata Lamarck

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Stenothoe valida, a small (2–4.5 mm) gammarid amphipod frequently associated with coelenterates, is commensal on millepore hydrocorals in Barbados, West Indies. Juvenile amphipods occur singly on the living surface of host colonies at densities of about 7–10 individuals 100˙cm−2. Mature adults (>2.5 mm) were discovered nestling, in groups of 5–15, in cavities formed by the dead empty shells of the commensal barnacle Megabalanus stultus. Both sexes occurred in the same shell and were vigorous in maintaining their relative positions in the cavities and in resisting the entrance of juveniles from outside. The similarity in size-frequency distributions of the juveniles in winter and summer and the presence of ovigerous females throughout the sampling period, suggest continuous breeding activity. Because dead barnacle shells become overgrown by coral tissue, continuous breeding would be an advantage to adults occupying these temporary refuges. Nestling by mature adults may provide the opportunity for sexual activity and the development of special reproductive strategies.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1992

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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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