Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 74, Issue 1, pp 31–42 | Cite as

Stable Isotope Analysis of Amphidromous Hawaiian Gobies Suggests Their Larvae Spend a Substantial Period of Time in Freshwater River Plumes

  • Peter W. Sorensen
  • Keith A. Hobson


We employed stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N) to evaluate the sources of nutrients used by amphidromous gobiid fishes (Lentipes concolor, Sicyopterus stimpsoni, Awaous guamensis) caught migrating into and living in Hakalau Stream, Hawaii. Although considerable variation amongst the stable isotope values of stream items was noted across all 4 years of our study, the relationships between the fishes were relatively constant. Stable isotope values of recruiting gobies were consistently closer to those of both inshore plankton and freshwater adults than those of offshore plankton, suggesting that the larvae of these species derive much of their nutrition from inshore environments influenced by fresh water. Small differences between the stable values of these species further suggested that their larvae come from different inshore locations. After entering fresh water all species appear to swim rapidly upstream without feeding. Finally, once well upstream, adult L. concolor and A. guamensis appear to assume an omnivorous diet while adult S. stimpsoni rely upon autochthonous production within streams. We propose that freshwater food webs play an integral yet complex role in the lives of both larval and adult amphidromous Hawaiian fishes.


migration carbon-13 nitrogen-15 Lentipes concolor Sicyopterus stimpsoni Awaous guamensis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bell, K.N.I., Brown, J.A. 1995Active salinity choice and enhanced swimming endurance in 0–8-d-old larvae of diadromous gobies, including Sicydium punctatum in Dominica, West IndiesMar. Biol.121409417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chisholm, B.S., Nelson, D.E., Schwartz, H.P. 1982Stable-carbon isotope ratios as a measure of marine versus terrestrial protein in ancient dietsScience21611311132Google Scholar
  3. Ego, K. 1956. Life history of freshwater gobies. Final report for Project no. 4–4R Freshwater Fish and Game Management Research, Division of Aquatic Resources, Territory of Hawaii, Honolulu, 24 pp.Google Scholar
  4. Fitzsimons, J.M., Zink, R.M., Nishimoto, R.T. 1990Genetic variation in the Hawaiian stream goby, Lentipes concolorBiochem. Syst. Ecol.188183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ford, J.I., Kinzie, R.A. 1982Life crawls upstreamNat. Hist.916067Google Scholar
  6. Hansen, A., Zeiske, E. 1998The peripheral olfactory organ of the zebrafish, Danio rerio: an ultrastructural studyChem. Senses233948PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Herzka, S.Z., Holt, G.J. 2000Changes in isotopic composition of red drum (Scianenops ocellatus) larvae in response to dietary shifts: potential application to settlement studiesCan. J. Fish. Aqua. Sci.57137147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hobson, K.A. 1999Tracing origins and migration of wildlife using stable isotopes: a reviewOecologia120314326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hobson, K.A., Sealy, S.G. 1991Marine protein contributions to the diets of Northern Saw-whet Owls on the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia: a stable isotope approachAuk108437440Google Scholar
  10. Hobson, K.A., Drever, M., Kaiser, M. 1999Norway rats as predators of burrow-nesting seabirds: insights from stable isotope analysisJ. Wildlife Manage.631425Google Scholar
  11. Hobson, K.A., Sirois, J., Gloutney, M.L. 2000Tracing nutrient allocations to reproduction using stable-isotopes: a preliminary investigation using the colonial waterbirds of Great Slave LakeAuk117760774Google Scholar
  12. Kido, M.H. 1996Diet and food selection in the endemic Hawaiian amphidromous goby, Sicyopterus stimpsoni (Pisces: Gobiidae)Environ. Biol. Fish.45199209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kido, M.H. 1997Food relationships between coexisting native Hawaiian stream fishesEnviron. Biol. Fish.49481494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lau, E.T.K. 1973. Dimorphism and Speciation of the Hawaiian Freshwater Goby Genus Lentipes. M.Sc. thesis, University of Hawaii, Honolulu. 83 pp.Google Scholar
  15. Lajtha, K., Mitchener (eds), R.H. 1994Stable Isotopes in Ecology and Environmental ScienceBlackwell ScientificOxford316Google Scholar
  16. Maruyama, A., Yamada, Y., Rusuwa, B., Yuma, M. 2001aChange in stable nitrogen isotope ratio in the muscle tissue of a migratory goby, Rhinogobius sp., in a natural settingCan. J. Fish. Aqua. Sci.5821252128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Maruyama, A., Yamada, Y., Yuma, B.M., Rusuwa, B. 2001bStable isotope and carbon ratios as migration tracers of a landlocked goby, Rhinogobius sp. (the orange form), in the Lake Biwa water systemEcol. Res.16697703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McDowall, R.M. 1988 Diadromy in FishesCroom HelmLondon308Google Scholar
  19. McDowall, R.M. 2003Hawaiian biogeography and islands’ freshwater fish faunaJ. Biogeogr.30701710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mitchener, R.H., Schell, D.M. 1994Stable isotope ratios as tracers in marine aquatic food websLajtha, K.Michener, R.H. eds. Stable Isotopes in Ecology and Environmental ScienceBlackwell ScientificOxford138157Google Scholar
  21. Nishimoto, R.T., Kuamo’o, D.G.K. 1997Recruitment of goby postlarvae into Hakalau Stream, Hawaii IslandMicronesica304149Google Scholar
  22. Oshiro, N., Nishizima, S. 1978An observation on the juveniles of ‚Yoshinoboriȁ9 (Gobidae) in the sea-watersBiol. Magazine Okinawa161722Google Scholar
  23. Radtke, R.L., Showers, W., Moksness, E., Lenz, P. 1996Environmental information stored in otoliths: insights from stable isotopesMar. Biol.127161170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Radtke, L., Kinzie, R.A.,III, Folsom, S.D. 1988Age at recruitment of Hawaiian freshwater gobiesEnviron. Biol. Fish.23205213Google Scholar
  25. Radtke, R.L., Kinzie III, R.A. 1991Hawaiian amphidromous gobies: perspectives on recruitment processes and life history eventsDevick, W. eds. Proceedings of the 1990 Symposium of Freshwater Stream Biology and Fisheries ManagementHawaii Department of Land and Natural ResourcesHonolulu, HI125141Google Scholar
  26. Radtke, R.L., Kinzie, R.A.,III, Shafer, D.J. 2001Temporal and spatial variation in length of larval life and size at settlement of the Hawaiian amphidromous goby Lentipes concolorJ. Fish Biol.59928938Google Scholar
  27. Schoenfuss, H.L., Blanchard, T.A., Kuamo’o, D. 1997Metamorphosis in the cranium of postlarval Sicyopterus stimpsoni, an endemic Hawaiian stream gobyMicronesica3093104Google Scholar
  28. Tate, D.C. 1997The role of behavioral interactions of immature Hawaiian stream fishes (Pisces: Gobiodei) in population dispersal and distributionMicronesica305170Google Scholar
  29. Tate, D.C., Fitzsimons, J.M., Cody, R.P. 1992Hawaiian Freshwater Fishes (Osteichthyes, Gobioidei) a Field key to the Species of Larvae and Postlarvae During Recruitment into Fresh WatersOccasional Papers of the Museum of Natural Science 65, Louisiana State UniversityBaton Rouge10Google Scholar
  30. Timbol, A. & J.A. Maciolek. 1978. Stream channel modification in Hawaii. Part A. A statewide inventory of streams, habitat factors and associated biota. US Fish and Wildlife Service FWS/OBS-78/16. 000 pp.Google Scholar
  31. Way, C.M., Burkey, A.J. 1991A preliminary survey of macroinvertebrates and a preliminary assessment of the diet of the endemic Hawaiian goby (‚O’opu alamo’o, Lentipes concolor)Devick, W. eds. Proceedings of the 1990 Symposium of Freshwater Stream Biology and Fisheries ManagementHawaii Department of Land and Natural ResourcesHonolulu, HI158164Google Scholar
  32. Zink, R.M., Fitzsimons, J.M., Dittman, D.L., Reynolds, D.R., Nishimoto, R.T. 1996Evolutionary genetics of Hawaiian freshwater fishCopeia1996330335Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology University of MinnesotaMNUSA
  2. 2.Prairie and Northern Wildlife Research CentreCanadian Wildlife ServiceSaskatoonCanada

Personalised recommendations