First Comprehensive Ecological Survey of the Banggai Cardinalfish, Pterapogon Kauderni
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A three week expedition to the Banggai Islands archipelago in Indonesia was completed in an attempt to determine the geographical distribution of the Banggai cardinalfish, Pterapogon kauderni, as well as to investigate its ecology and conservation status in relation to heavy collecting for the aquarium trade. P. kauderni was found in nine sites within the Banggai archipelago, in three sites within the Sula spur region, and in two sites off mainland Sulawesi. P. kauderni inhabited diverse microhabitats and was found in association with characteristic fish communities. The results of three visual censuses gave a similar density of approximately 0.03 individuals per m2. The diet of P. kauderni consisted of a variety of items belonging to five phyla, including microcrustaceans, teleosts and mollusks. At least 50 000 specimens per month are collected for the aquarium trade and trans-shipped via North Sulawesi and Bali. High mortality occurs during transport to these export centers.
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