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First record of predation on reproductive Palythoa caribaeorum (Anthozoa: Sphenopidae): insights on the trade-off between chemical defences and nutritional value

  • G.O. Longo (a1) (a2), J.P. Krajewski (a2), B. Segal (a3) and S.R. Floeter (a1) (a2)
Abstract

During fieldwork at the Abrolhos reefs (north-east Brazil) the whitespotted filefish Cantherhines macrocerus was observed predating a reproductive colony of the zoanthid Palythoa caribaeorum. Several fresh bite marks observed in the colonies suggest that other individuals and probably other species were also feeding on the zoanthid. This is the first record of predation on this zoanthid during its reproductive stage. Since P. caribaeorum contains anti-predation chemical defences, we discuss that the presence of egg-bearing polyps might increase the predator benefit in the predation trade-off, i.e. it might be more worthwhile to deal with such defences when the energy budget of eggs is also involved. Therefore, the reproductive stage of chemically defended organisms might shape the frequency and intensity of such interaction.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: G.O. Longo, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, 88010-970, Florianópolis-SC, Brazil email: golerme@yahoo.com.br
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

J.E. Duffy and V.J. Paul (1992) Prey nutritional quality and the effectiveness of chemical defenses against tropical reef fishes. Oecologia 90, 333339.

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R.D. Rotjan and S.M. Lewis (2005) Selective predation by parrotfishes on the reef coral Porites astreoides. Marine Ecology Progress Series 305, 193–20.

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Marine Biodiversity Records
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1755-2672
  • URL: /core/journals/marine-biodiversity-records
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