Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 121–128 | Cite as

Seasonal variation in territorial response, and other aspects of the ecology of the Australian temperate pomacentrid fish Parma microlepis

  • M. J. Moran
  • P. F. Sale
Article

Abstract

The Australian temperate pomacentrid fish Parma microlepis Gunther maintains permanent, interspecifically defended territories. Breeding occurs in late spring (October to December), and juveniles after a pre-settling period of 4 to 6 weeks take up territories in the adult habitat. P. microlepis feed in their territories on benthic algae and invertebrates. Density of fish is significantly correlated with the availability of suitable shelter. There is a variation in the territorial response directed at different species, and a significant correlation exists between intensity of response to a species and its similarity to P. microlepis in use of living space. No significant correlation exists between intensity of response and dietary similarity. P. microlepis defends larger areas in the breeding than in the non-breeding season against those species which represent a possible threat to its breeding success. It shows a reduced tendency to attack juvenile conspecifics at the time of year when they would be settling from the plankton. Responses to species not likely to interfere with breeding success do not vary through the year. P. microlepis is thus seen to have complex territorial responses, specific to the species of intruder and time of year. In this it is quite similar to other territorial pomacentrids (chiefly tropical) for which information exists.

Keywords

Seasonal Variation Defend Late Spring Breeding Success Benthic Alga 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Albrecht, H.: Behaviour of four species of Atlantic damselfishes from Columbia, South America, (Abudefduf saxatiles, A. taurus, Chromis multilineata, C. cyanea; Pisces, Pomacentridae). Z. Tierpsychol. 26, 662–676 (1969)Google Scholar
  2. Allen, G.R.: The anemonefishes, their classification and biology, 288 pp. New Jersey: T.F.H. Publications 1972Google Scholar
  3. Breder, C.M. Jr. and D.E. Rosen: Modes of reproduction in fishes, Vol. XV. 941 pp. New York: American Museum of Natural History, Natural History Press 1966Google Scholar
  4. Clarke, T.A.: Territorial behavior and population dynamics of a territorial fish, the garibaldi, Hypsypops rubicunda. Ecol. Monogr. 40, 189–212 (1970)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Coleman, N.: Australian marine fishes in colour, 108 pp. Sydney: Reed 1974Google Scholar
  6. Colwell, R.K. and D.J. Futuyma: On the measurement of niche breadth and overlap. Ecology 52, 567–576 (1971)Google Scholar
  7. Keenleyside, M.H.A.: The behaviour of Abudefduf zonatus (Pisces: Pomacentridae) at Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef. Anim. Behav. 20, 763–775 (1972)Google Scholar
  8. Lawler, C.: The white ear. Skindiving Aust. N.Z. 4 (5), 32–34 (1974)Google Scholar
  9. Limbaugh, C.: Notes on the life history of two Californian pomacentrids: garibaldis, Hypsypops rubicunda (Girard), blacksmiths, Chromis punctipinnis (Cooper). Pacif. Sci. 18, 41–50 (1964)Google Scholar
  10. Low, R.M.: Interspecific territoriality in a pomacentrid reef fish, Pomacentrus flavicauda Whitley. Ecology 52, 648–654 (1971)Google Scholar
  11. Myrberg, A.A. Jr.: Social dominance and territoriality in the bicolor damselfish Eupomacentrus partitus (Poey) (Pisces: Pomacentridae). Behaviour 41, 207–231 (1972)Google Scholar
  12. — and R.E. Thresher: Interspecific aggression and its relevance to the concept of territoriality in reef fishes. Am. Zool. 14, 81–96 (1974)Google Scholar
  13. Rasa, O.A.E.: Territoriality and the establishment of dominance by means of visual cues in Pomacentrus jenkinsi (Pisces: Pomacentridae). Z. Tierpsychol. 26, 825–845 (1969)Google Scholar
  14. Reese, E.S.: Ethology and marine zoology. Oceanogr. mar. Biol. A. Rev. 2, 455–488 (1964)Google Scholar
  15. Robertson, D.R.: Field observations on the reproductive behaviour of a pomacentrid fish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus. Z. Tierpsychol. 32, 319–324 (1973)Google Scholar
  16. Russell, B.C.: Underwater observations on the reproductive activity of the demoiselle Chromis dispilus (Pisces: Pomacentridae). Mar. Biol. 10, 22–29 (1971)Google Scholar
  17. Sale, P.F.: Mechanisms of co-existence in a guild of territorial. fishes at Heron Island. Proc. int. Symp. coral Reefs 1, 193–206 (1974). (Brisbane: Great Barrier Reef Committee)Google Scholar
  18. —: Patterns of use of space in a guild of territorial reef fishes. Mar. Biol. 29, 89–97 (1975)Google Scholar
  19. Stokes, A.W. (Ed.): Territory, XIII and 398 pp. Stroudsburg, Pa.: Dowden, Hutchinson & Ross 1974Google Scholar
  20. Swerdloff, S.N.: Behavioral observations on Eniwetok damselfishes (Pomacentridae: Chromis) with special reference to the spawning of Chromis caeruleus. Copeia 1970, 371–374 (1970)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Moran
    • 1
  • P. F. Sale
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesThe University of SydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations