Gray Triggerfish (Balistes Capriscus Gmelin) Feeding from Artificial and Natural Substrate in Shallow Atlantic Waters of Florida
Diets of gray triggerfish (Balistes capriscus Gmelin) collected on artificial and natural substrates were compared during a project investigating re-use of waste materials (stabilized oil ash) as reef building materials. Gray triggerfish from natural reefs consumed relatively greater amounts of bivalves than those collected on artificial reefs. In contrast, gray triggerfish from artificial reefs consumed more barnacles than did their natural reef counterparts. Taxonomically, the food of fish from artificial reefs was more restricted than that of fish from natural habitats. Results indicate, however, that gray triggerfish are not obligate feeders on well-armored prey as might be predicted from jaw morphology and dentition. In effect, these adaptations broaden the feeding niche of gray triggerfish, allowing feeding flexibility which includes both armored and unarmored invertebrate prey.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 September 1994
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