The butterflyfishes: success on the coral reef

The butterflyfishes: success on the coral reef

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Butterflyfishes of the family Chaetodontidae are conspicuous members of almost all tropical reefs. These colorful fishes have attracted a great deal of attention from both the scientific community and especially the aquarium fish industry. At first one is tempted to say that butterflyfishes are abundant worldwide, but the evidence does not support this statement. The biomass of chaetodontids on reefs may range from 0.02-0.80%, and in terms of numbers they comprise only 0.04-0.61 % of the individuals on the reef. Yet in spite of these relatively small numbers they have been extensively studied. A quick census shows some 170 articles on or about butterfly- fishes, with 78% of them being published since the 1970's. Along with the cichlids and damselfishes they might be one of the most studied and well published family of tropical fishes. Why then have chaetodontids attracted so much attention? The butterflyfishes are mostly shallow water inhabitants that are approachable and easily recognizable, making their study very feasible. Their bright coloration has provoked many hypotheses but has posed more questions about coloration than it has provided answers. And despite their apparent overall morphological similarity, their highly structured and varied social systems have made them an ideal model for such studies. The reasons for choosing these organisms are indeed as diverse as the studies themselves.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 248 pages
  • 195.6 x 264.2 x 20.3mm | 816.48g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1989 ed.
  • VIII, 248 p.
  • 0792301684
  • 9780792301684

Table of contents

Biogeography of the Chaetodontidae: an analysis of allopatry among closely related species.- Circumtropical patterns in butterflyfish communities.- Correlations between chaetodontid fishes and coral communities of the Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea).- Environmental determinants of butterflyfish social systems.- Orientation behavior of butterflyfishes (family Chaetodontidae) on coral reefs: spacial learning of route specific landmarks and cognitive maps.- Larval biology of butterflyfishes (Pisces, Chaetodontidae): what do we really know?.- Implications of feeding specialization on the recruitment processes and community structure of butterflyfishes.- Sexual differentiation, gonad development, and spawning seasonality of the Hawaiian butterflyfish, Chaetodon multicinctus.- Spawning behavior of Chaetodon multicinctus (Chaetodontidae); pairs and intruders.- Aspects of the spawning of western Atlantic butterflyfishes (Pisces: Chaetodontidae).- Eye camouflage and false eyespots: chaetodontid responses to predators.- Dentition patterns among Pacific and Western Atlantic butterflyfishes (Perciformes, Chaetodontidae): relationship to feeding ecology and evolutionary history.- Prey selection by coral-feeding butterflyfishes: strategies to maximize the profit.- Temporal and areal feeding behavior of the butterflyfish, Chaetodon trifascialis, at Johnston Atoll.- Feeding habits of Japanese butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae).- The brain organization of butterflyfishes.- The eye muscles and their innervation in Chaetodon trifasciatus (Pisces, Teleostei, Chaetodontidae).- The membranous labyrinth and its innervation in Chaetodon trifasciatus (Pisces, Teleostei, Chaetodontidae).- Strengths and weaknesses in butterflyfish research: concluding remarks.- Species and subject index.
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