Vertical Resource Partitioning and Sexuality of Three Sympatric Species of Red Sea Sandfishes (Xyrichtys melanopus, Labridae; Trichonotus nikii, Trichonotidae; Gorgasia sp., Congridae)

Thumbnail Image
72254.pdf(39.43 MB)
No. of downloads: 8
Publication or External Link
Krall, Marianne Martha
Clark, Eugenie
Three species of marine sandfishes were studied from 1984 to 1986. Their inter- and intraspecific behavior was monitored during the daylight hours to examine interactions that could result in the vertical stratification of the species over the sandy bottom within the fringing and patch reefs in the north Red Sea. Horizontal plankton tows were taken at three heights and three times a day. These samples were compared to stomach contents of the fishes to determine the trophic relationships in the community and their affects on spatial relations between the species . Prey specificities of the fishes were determined by using an electivity measure. Using paraffin histology, Xyrichtys melanopus was determined to be a monandric protogynous hermaphrodite and Trichonotus nikii, a gonochorist. Previous work on the mating systems and territoriality of all three sandfish species helped in part to explain the vertical spatial arrangement of the sandfish species within the community. Effects of pollution on the b iota of the Northern Gulf of Aqaba are noted.