Biological Invasions

, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 925–933 | Cite as

Spatial Relationships Between an Introduced Snapper and Native Goatfishes on Hawaiian Reefs*



It has been suggested that the introduced blueline snapper (Lutjanus kasmira, Family: Lutjanidae) may adversely affect populations of native fishery species in Hawai’i through competition for spatial or dietary resources, or through predation on young fish. We studied the habitat use patterns of L. kasmira and several native reef fish species using direct observation by SCUBA divers. Habitat use patterns of the yellowtail goatfish (Mulloidichthys vanicolensis, Family: Mullidae) were most similar to those of L. kasmira. Both species were primarily found low in the water column and were closely associated with areas of vertical relief. Individual M. vanicolensis were found higher in the water column when L. kasmirawere present, but L. kasmira were not similarly affected by M. vanicolensis. This finding suggests asymmetrical competition for shelter, in which the dominant L. kasmira displaces M. vanicolensis farther into the water column. This displacement from the protection of the reef could increase the vulnerability of M. vanicolensisto predators and fishers.


coral reef fishes goatfishes (Mullidae) habitat use patterns Lutjanus kasmira spatial competition 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of Hawai’i at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.US Geological Survey/Department of Zoology, Hawai’i Cooperative Fishery Research UnitUniversity of Hawai’i at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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