Defecation behaviour of the Lined Bristletooth Surgeonfish Ctenochaetus striatus (Acanthuridae)

The feeding and defecation behaviour of the surgeonfish Ctenochaetus striatus was investigated at Ras Mohammed National Park

R. Krone

2008

Scholarcy highlights

  • The feeding and defecation behaviour of the surgeonfish Ctenochaetus striatus was investigated at Ras Mohammed National Park
  • Each defecation comprise a percentage of the total home range and was not used for other purposes
  • Neighbours and individuals inhabiting almost the same range usually shared the same area for defecation, but the individual areas did not overlap
  • C. striatus individuals that were observed on the continuous reef flat nearby seemed to avoid the shallow backreef area, but defecated on the seaward edge at distinct spots
  • All observed individuals spent most time above rocky substrate, but defecated exclusively over sand, defecating significantly more often over sand than predicted by their preferred residence duration
  • In a larger home range fish use any sandy substrate away from the reef. Notwithstanding these differences, there is a similar pattern for all these species of defecating away from the foraging area, which may be a function of removing sediment to improve the growth of the grazer’s food sources (C. striatus diet includes inorganic matter;, and/or by defecating away from foraging areas the risk of re-infection with endoparasites may be reduced
  • Share of defecation spot of the whole home range

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