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Free Content Resource use by Corallivorous Butterflyfishes (Family Chaetodontidae) in Hawaii

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Patterns of resource availability and use by corallivorous butterftyfishes in Hawaii were investigated. At six geographic locations, a 50 m × 50 m grid was surveyed for butterftyfishes and coral availability. Individuals of all corallivorous species were followed, and feeding bites and foraging ranges were recorded. Feeding preferences were evaluated using Chessen's (1978) electivity index. Diet overlap was evaluated using the Proportional Similarity method of Smith (1985). The abundance of butterftyfishes and coral resources varied greatly at these sites, and population sizes of butterflyfishes were not correlated with overall coral cover. The numbers of the specialist feeder Chaetodon unimaculatus were correlated with the abundance of its preferred food, montiporid corals. Chaetodon ornatissimus had the broadest diet but did not show strong feeding preferences, in contrast to previous laboratory feeding tests. Chaetodon multicinctus strongly preferred the coral Pocillopora meandrina, the coral favored most in laboratory feeding tests. Chaetodon trifasciatus generally preferred poritid corals in the field, in direct contrast to laboratory feeding preferences, suggesting that foraging by this species may be constrained by the other butterftyfish species.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1994-03-01

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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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