Journal of Ichthyology

, Volume 51, Issue 9, pp 769–775 | Cite as

Planktonic and symbiotic organisms in nutrition of coralobiont fish

  • A. V. Zikova
  • T. A. Britaev
  • V. N. Ivanenko
  • V. N. Mikheev


Nutrition of coral reef fish closely associated with the colonies of scleractinian corals Acropora spp. (South China Sea, Gulf of Nha Trang) was investigated. Parabionts Dascyllus reticulatus and Chromis caeruleus (Pomacentridae) feed mainly on zooplankton in the water column above the hosts’ colony, and inbionts Gobiodon quinquestrgatus (Gobiidae) rarely leave a host colony and feed generally on coral reef invertebrates. A high part of secondary nutrition objects (on average 19–29%) that indicates deficiency in main food were noted in both categories of fish. Food of all three fish species contains parasites (from 19% in C. caeruleus and up to 25% in G. quinquestrigatus) whose significant part is represented by parasites of coral (approximately 7% in D. reticulatus and C. caeruleus and 15% in G. quinquestrigatus). In addition, larvae of parasites of Isopoda and Facetotecta that are fed by fish in the water column were found. Mucus from the surface of host coral which was recognized on the basis of a high number of nematocysts in fish stomachs was found in food of G. quinquestrigatus for the first time. Positive and negative effects of symbiosis of fish and host-coral were discussed. A commensal character of symbiosis was supposed.


symbiotic association fish fam. Pomacentridae and Gobiidae corals Acropora spp. zooplankton invertebrates-coralobionts 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Begon, M., Harper, J.L., and Townsend, C.R., Ecology: Individuals, Populations, and Communities, Oxford: Black-well, 1996.Google Scholar
  2. Boxshall, G.A. and Halsey, S.H., An Introduction to Copepod Diversity, L.: Ray Society, 2004.Google Scholar
  3. Buchheim, J.R. and Hixon, M.A., Competition for Shelter Holes in the Coral-Reef Fish Acanthoemblemaria spinosa Metzelaar, J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 1992, vol. 164, no. 1, pp.45–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Buckel, J.A. and Stoner, A.W., Negative Effects of Increasing Group Size on Foraging in Two Estuarine Piscivores, J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 2004, vol. 307, pp. 183–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cole, A.J., Pratchett, M.S., and Jones, G.P., Diversity and Functional Importance of Coral-Feeding Fishes on Tropical Coral Reefs, Fish Fisheries, 2008, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 286–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dirnwöber, M. and Herler, J., Microhabitat Specialisation and Ecological Consequences for Coral Gobies of the Genus Gobiodon in the Gulf of Aqaba, Northern Red Sea, Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser., 2007, vol. 342, pp.265–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eggleston, D.B., Lipcius, R.N., and Grover, J.J., Predator and Shelter-Size Effects on Coral Reef Fish and Spiny Lobster Prey, Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser., 1997, vol. 149, pp. 43–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ferry-Graham, L.A., Wainwright, P.C., Hysley, C.D., and Bellwood, D.R., Evolution and Mechanisms of Long Jaws in Butterflyfishes (Family Chaetodontidae), J. Morphol., 2001, vol. 248, pp. 120–143.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fishelson, L., Coral and Fish Biocenosis: Ecological Cells Gradually Maturing in Complexity, Species Composition and Energy Turnover, Envir, Biol. Fish., 2003, vol. 68, pp. 391–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fishelson, L., Popper, D., and Avidor, A., Biosociology and Ecology of Pomacentrid Fishes around tne Sinai Peninsula (Northern Red Sea), J. Fish Biol., 1974, vol. 6, pp. 119–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hamner, W.M., Jones, M.S., Carleton, J.H., et al., Zooplankton, Planktivorous Fish, and Water Currents on a Windward Reef Face: Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Bull. Mar. Sci., 1988, vol. 42, pp. 459–479.Google Scholar
  12. Heidelberg, K.B., Sebens, K.P., and Purcell, J.R., Composition and Sources of Near Reef Zooplankton on a Jamaican Forereef along with Implications for Coral Feeding, Coral Reefs, 2004, vol. 23, pp. 263–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hiatt, R.W. and Strasburg, D.W., Ecological Relationships of the Fish Fauna on Coral Reefs of the Marshall Islands, Ecol. Monographs, 1960, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 65–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hixon, M.A. and Beets, J.P., Shelter Characterostics and Caribbean Fish Assemblages: Experiments with Artificial Reefs, Bull. Mar. Sci., 1989, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 666–680.Google Scholar
  15. Hixon, M.A. and Carr, M.H., Synergistic Predation Density Dependence, and Population Regulation in Marine Fish, Science, 1997, vol. 277, pp. 946–949.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Holbrook, S.J., Brooks, A.J., Schmitt, R.J., and Stewart, H.L., Effects of Sheltering Fish on Growth of Their Host Corals, Mar. Biol., 2008, vol. 155, pp. 521–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Humes, A.G., How Many Copepods? Hydrobiologia, 1994, vol. 292/293, pp. 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ivchenko, G.I. and Honov, S.A., On the Jaccard Similarity Test, J. Mathemat. Sci., 1998, vol. 88, no. 6, pp. 789–794.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ivlev, V.S., Eksperimentalnaya ekologiya pitaniya ryb (Experimental Ecology of Fish Feeding), Moscow: Pishchepromizdat, 1955 [in Rissian].Google Scholar
  20. Jones, J.P., Food Availability Affects Growth in a Coral Reef Fish, Oecologia, 1986, vol. 70, pp. 136–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kuwamura, T., Yogo, Y., Nakashima, Y., Population Dynamics of Goby Paragobiodon echinocephalus and Hoist Coral Stylophora pistillata, Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser., 1994, vol. 103, pp. 17–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lassig, B.R., Communication and Coexistence in a Coral Community, Mar. Biol., 1977, vol. 42, pp. 85–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Liberman, T.A., Genin, A., and Loya, Y., Effects of Growth and Reproduction of the Coral Stylophora pistillata by the Mutuialistic Damselfish Dascyllus marginatus, Mar. Biol., 1995, vol. 121, pp. 741–746.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Luckhurst, B.E. and Luckhurst, K., Analysis of the Influence of Substrate Variables on Coral Reef Fish Communities, Mar. Biol., 1978, vol. 49, pp. 317–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Meyer, J.L. and Schultz, E.T., Tissue Condition and Growth Rate of Corals Associated with Schooling Fish, Limnol. Oceanography, 1985, vol. 30, pp. 157–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mikheev, B.N., Size Composition and Prey Diversity in Roach Larvae, in Povedenie i raspredelenie molodi ryb, (Behavior and Distribution of Fish Juveniles), Moscow: IEMEZh, 1984, pp. 45–61.Google Scholar
  27. Mikheev, V.N., Neodnorodnost’ sredy i troficheskie otnosheniya u ryb (Inhomogeneity of the Environment and Trophic Relationships in Fish), Moscow: Nauka, 2006.Google Scholar
  28. Motro, R., Ayalon, I., and Genin, A., Near-Bottom Depletion of Zooplankton over Coral Reefs, III, Vertical Gradient of Predaton Pressure, Coral Reefs, 2005, vol. 24, pp. 95–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Patton, W.K., Distributiuon and Ecology of Animals Associated with Branching Corals (Acropora sp.) from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Bull. Mar. Sci., 1994, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 193–211.Google Scholar
  30. Pratchett, M.S., Dietary Overlap among Coral-Feeding Butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae) at Lizard Island, Northern Great Barrier Reef, Mar. Biol., 2005, vol.148, pp. 373–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pratchett, M,S., Gust, N., Goby, G., and Klanten, S.O., Consumption of Coral Propagules Represents a Significant Trophic Link between Corals and Reef Fish, Coral Reefs., 2001, vol. 20, pp. 13–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sale, P.F., Apparent Effect of Prior Experience on a Habitat Preference Exhibited by the Reef Fish, Dascyllus aruanus (Pisces, Pomacentridae), Animal Behaviour, 1971a, vol. 19, pp. 251–256.Google Scholar
  33. Sale, P.F., Extremely Limited Home Range in a Coral Reef Fish Sascyllus aruanus (Pisces: Pomacentridae), Copeia, 1971b, vol. 2, pp. 324–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Shulman, M.J., Coral Reef Fish Assemblages: Intra- and Interspecific Competition for Shelter Sites, Environ. Biol. Fish., 1985, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 81–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Stephens, D.W. and Krebs J.R., Foraging Theory, Princeton: Princeton Univ., 1986.Google Scholar
  36. Tyler, J.C., Habitat Preferences of the Fishes that Dwell in Shrub Corals on the Great Barrier Reef, Proc. Acad. Natur. Sci. Phila., 1971, vol. 123, pp. 1–26.Google Scholar
  37. Weber, J.N. and Woodhead, P.M.J., Ecological Studies of the Coral Predator Acanthaster planci in the South Pacific, Mar. Biol., 1970, vol. 6, pp. 12–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Webster, M.S., Role of Predators in the Early Post-Settlement Demography of Coral-Reef Fishes, Oecologia, 2002, vol. 131, pp. 52–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. White, J.W. and Warner, R.R., Behavioral and Energetic Costs of Group Membership of a Coral Reef Fish, Oecologia, 2007, vol. 154, pp. 423–433.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Whiteman, E.A. and Côté, I.M., Monogamy in Marine Fishes, Biol. Rev., 2004, vol. 79, pp. 351–375.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Yahel, R., Yahel, G., and Genin, A., Near Bottom Depletion of Zooplankton over Coral Reefs. I. Diurnal Dynamics and Size Distribution, Coral Reefs, 2005, vol. 24, pp. 75–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. V. Zikova
    • 1
  • T. A. Britaev
    • 1
  • V. N. Ivanenko
    • 2
  • V. N. Mikheev
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Ecology and EvolutionMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

Personalised recommendations