Invemar
Bulletin of Marine and Coastal Research

Fishes associating with shallow water echinoids at Roatán, Honduras

Floyd Edward Hayes, Sierra J. Trogdon, Sean T. Richards, Christine Graham, John C. Duncan, Antonio I. Robles

Abstract


We studied the association of 11 species of fishes with 5 species of echinoids at Roatán, Honduras, from 27 August to 1 September 2017. Fishes associated most frequently with the echinoid Diadema antillarum (34.3% of echinoids, six fish species, n = 146 echinoids), followed by Echinometra viridis (25.0%, three fish species, n = 12), Echinometra lucunter (7.5%, ten fish species, n = 1,834), Eucidaris tribuloides (3.4%, four fish species, n = 116), and Tripneustes ventricosus (7.1%, one fish species, n = 28). Of 196 fishes seeking shelter beside echinoids, Malacoctenus aurolineatus was the most common (41.8% of fishes, three echinoid species), followed by Stegastes adustus (38.8%, three echinoid species), Stegastes diencaeus (6.6%, three echinoid species), Sargocentron coruscum (6.1%, five echinoid species), Chaetodon capistratus (1.5%, one echinoid species), Gobioclinus filamentosus (1.5%, one echinoid species), Pomacanthus paru (1.0%, two echinoid species), Labrisomus nuchipinnis (1.0%, two echinoid species), Equetus punctatus (0.5%, one echinoid species), Microspathodon chryurus (0.5%, one echinoid species), and Thalassoma bifasciatum (0.5%, one echinoid species). None of the fishes associated exclusively with echinoids or was specialized for associating with echinoids, indicating the association was facultative. All fishes were small (< 12 cm). Fishes associated most frequently with the longest-spined echinoid, D. antillarum, supporting the hypothesis that fishes seek shelter among the spines of echinoids to benefit from increased protection from predation.


Keywords


Caribbean Sea; coral reefs; ectosymbionts; facultative association

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DOI: 10.25268/bimc.invemar.2019.48.1.756

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