Gymnothorax spp. (Muraenidae) as natural predators of the lionfish Pterois miles in its native biogeographical range
- 531 Downloads
Lionfish (Pterois miles) were observed avoiding coral pinnacles inhabited by the moray eels Gymnothorax flavimarginatus and G. javanicus in the northern Red Sea, Egypt. Release of lionfish (Standard Length 93–104 mm) in such coral pinnacles in November 2016 resulted in almost immediate predation by large moray eels (Total Length > 1 m). Predation by moray eels may be the key control mechanism of population growth in the native biogeographical range of Pterois spp. and may indirectly explain the success of the invasive populations. This is the first video-documented record of moray eels feeding on the lionfish P. miles.
KeywordsMoray eel Predation Pterois Red Sea Scorpaenidae
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. Two anonymous reviewers provided valuable comments to improve the manuscript.
- Bruno JF, Valdivia A, Hackerott S, Cox CE, Green SJ, Côté IM, Akins L, Layman CA, Precht WF (2013) Testing the grouper biocontrol hypothesis: a response to Mumby et al. 2013. PeerJ PrePrints e139v1Google Scholar
- Donaldson TJ, Benavente D, Diaz R (2010) Why are lionfishes (Pterois, Scorpaenidae) so rare in their native ranges? Proceedings of the 63rd gulf and Caribbean. Fisheries Institute 2011:352–359Google Scholar
- Froese R, Pauly D (2015) FishBase. World Wide Web Electronic Publications. http://www.fishbase.org. Accessed on 28 Nov 2016
- Kulbicki M, Beets J, Chabanet P, Cure K, Darling E, Floeter SR, Galzin R, Green A, Harmelin-Vivien M, Hixon M, Letourneur Y (2012) Distributions of Indo-Pacific lionfishes Pterois spp. in their native ranges: implications for the Atlantic invasion. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 446:189–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mumby PJ, Brumbaugh DR, Harborne AR, Roff G (2013) On the relationship between native grouper and invasive lionfish in the Caribbean. PeerJ PrePrints e45v1Google Scholar
- Randall JE, Golani D (1995) Review of the moray eels (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae) of the Red Sea. Bull Mar Sci 56(3):849–880Google Scholar