Size and spatial arrangement of home range of checkered snapper Lutjanus decussatus (Lutjanidae) in an Okinawan coral reef determined using a portable GPS receiver
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Although snappers (Lutjanidae) are commercially important fishery resources in tropical and subtropical waters, their home range size and its spatial arrangement have not been sufficiently clarified. In the present study, the size and spatial arrangement of the home range of the reef-associated checkered snapper Lutjanus decussatus (Lutjanidae) were investigated by use of a portable GPS receiver. In a 120 m × 120 m quadrat established on a section of the fringing reef of Ishigaki Island, 29 individuals of the species were identified by their color pattern and individuals were divided into five arbitrary size classes (class 1 <10 cm TL ≤ class 2 <15 cm TL ≤ class 3 <20 cm TL ≤ class 4 <25 cm TL ≤ class 5). Fish tracking by snorkeling was conducted with the portable GPS receiver. Site fidelity of this species was high. Home range size ranged from 93.0 to 3638.4 m2, and there was a significant positive correlation between the home range size and fish total length. Home ranges of the same-sized individuals abutted each other (8.8% area overlap), whereas those of different-sized individuals overlapped (44.0% area overlap). Agonistic behavior (attack and agonistic display) was more frequently found among same-sized individuals (times of agonistic behavior/times of all encounters × 100 = 71.3%), whereas such agonistic behavior was rarely found among different-sized individuals (times of agonistic behavior/times of all encounters × 100 = 6.9%). These results suggest that home ranges of Lutjanus decussatus can be regarded as territories against same-sized individuals, but not different-sized individuals. The usefulness of the fish tracking by snorkeling using a portable GPS receiver for home range size estimation and the function of the overlapping territory of the species are discussed.
KeywordsHome Range Home Range Size Site Fidelity Agonistic Behavior Intraspecific Interaction
We are grateful to the staff of Ishigaki Tropical Station, Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute. Constructive comments on the manuscript from C.P. Norman and two anonymous reviewers were much appreciated. The present study complies with the current laws in Japan.
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