Advertisement

Feeding Habits of Pterois volitans: A Real Threat to Caribbean Coral Reef Biodiversity

  • Arturo Acero P.Email author
  • Diana Bustos-Montes
  • P. Pabón Quintero
  • Carlos Julio Polo-Silva
  • A. Sanjuan Muñoz
Chapter
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 29)

Abstract

Lionfish consume at least 250 fish and crustaceans prey species in the western Atlantic. Main taxa eaten include grunts (Haemulon aurolineatum), wrasses (Thalassoma bifasciatum and Halichoeres spp.), damselfishes (Stegastes partitus and Chromis cyanea), gobies (Coryphopterus personatus), labrisomids (Malacoctenus triangulatus) and Pterois volitans. Because lionfish prey on such a long list of Caribbean reef fauna it should be considered a generalist invasive species that even threats commercially and ecologically important species such as grunts, groupers, snappers, triggerfishes, parrotfishes, surgeonfishes, gobies, lobsters, and cleaner shrimps. Four richness estimators indicate that lionfish may consume around 300 species. Stable isotopes analysis ratifies that most prey eaten by lionfish are reef dwellers. Lionfish diets from the Colombian Caribbean appear distant from the Bahamas and Cayman Island diets in a cluster analysis. Research and monitoring of this dangerous invading species should be maintained.

Keywords

Pterois Volitans Coral Reef Biodiversity Lionfish Chromis Cyanea Cleaner Shrimp 
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.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We deeply thank our Colombian institutions (Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Caribe and Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano), which let us face coordinately this unexpected and powerful menace. Funds for our research came from COLCIENCIAS (Project code 1361-521-28271), Universidad Nacional de Colombia (project codes 10498, 12397, 16265, 34831, 36649, and 39149) and Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano (project codes 558-10-13, 639-11-14 and 694-12-15). Santiago Estrada R. (Reef Shepperd Center) loaned the underwater photographs and collaborated with the Santa Marta field trips. Officers from the Parque Nacional Natural Corales de Profundidad, especially Alejandro Henao, donated deep reef lionfish specimens. Humberto Gómez-Pardo, María Camila Rodríguez and Josselyn Bryan helped us with the photographs of some stomach contents items. Many other graduate and undergraduate students from our institutions generously helped us to gather data from Colombian environments. Luisa María Sanjuan Agudelo checked English grammar and style. Contribution No. 470 of the Instituto de Estudios en Ciencias del Mar, Cecimar, Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Caribe.

References

  1. Abril A (2012) Aspectos de la biología y ecología trófica y reproductiva del pez león, Pterois volitans (Linnaeus 1758), en San Andrés Isla, Reserva de la Biosfera-Seaflower, Caribe colombiano. Bachelor Thesis. Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, 33 pGoogle Scholar
  2. Albins M (2015) Invasive Pacific lionfish Pterois volitans reduce abundance and species richness of native Bahamian coral-reef fishes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 522:231–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Albins MA, Hixon MA (2008) Invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish Pterois volitans reduce recruitment of Atlantic coral-reef fishes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 367:233–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Albins MA, Lyons PJ (2012) Invasive red lionfish Pterois volitans blow directed jets of water at prey fish. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 448:1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Andrade CA, Barton ED (2005) The Guajira upwelling system. Cont Shelf Res 25(9):1003–1022CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Araújo M, Bolnick DI, Layman CA (2011) The ecological causes of individual specialisation. Ecol Lett 14(9):948–958CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Arbeláez N, Acero PA (2011) Presencia del pez león Pterois volitans (Linnaeus) en el manglar de la bahía de Chengue, Caribe colombiano. Bol Invest Mar Cost 40(2):431–435Google Scholar
  8. Arias-González JE, González-Gándara C, Luis Cabrera J, Christensen V (2011) Predicted impact of the invasive lionfish Pterois volitans on the food web of a Caribbean coral reef. Environ Res 111(7):917–925CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Arredondo AT (2016) Comparación trófica del pez león, Pterois volitans (Linnaeus, 1758) con tres especies de peces arrecifales del Caribe mexicano: a través del uso de isótopos estables y contenido estomacal. Master Thesis. Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucátan, Posgrado en Ciencias del Agua, Cancún, Quintana Roo, 108 pGoogle Scholar
  10. Barbour A, Montgomery M, Adamson A, Díaz-Ferguson E, Silliman B (2010) Mangrove use by the invasive lionfish Pterois volitans. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 401:291–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bernal G, Poveda G, Roldán P, Andrade C (2006) Patrones de variabilidad de las temperaturas superficiales del mar en la costa Caribe colombiana. Cienc Tierra 30(115):195–208Google Scholar
  12. Betancur-R R, Hines A, Acero PA, Ortí G, Wilbur AE, Freshwater DW (2011) Reconstructing the lionfish invasion: insights into Greater Caribbean biogeography. J Biogeogr 38(7):1281–1293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cabrera-Guerra D (2014) Caracterización de la dieta del pez león (Teleostei: Scorpaenidae: Pterois sp.) en cuatro localidades de Cuba. Bachelor thesis, Universidad de La Habana. La HabanaGoogle Scholar
  14. Carpenter KE (ed) (2002) The living marine resources of the Western Central Atlantic. FAO species identification. Guide for Fishery Purposes and American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Special Publication No. 5. FAO. Rome. 2055 pGoogle Scholar
  15. Clavel J, Julliard R, Devictor V (2011) Worldwide decline of specialist species: toward a global functional homogenization? Front Ecol Environ 9(4):222–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Claydon JAB, Calosso MC, Traiger SB (2012) Progression of invasive lionfish in seagrass, mangrove and reef habitats. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 448:119–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Colwell RK (2013) Estimates version 9.1 statistical estimation of species richness and shared species from samples (software and user’s guide). Freeware for Windows and Mac OS, http://viceroy.eeb.uconn.edu/estimates/
  18. Côté IM, Maljković A (2010) Predation rates of indo-pacific lionfish on Bahamian coral reefs. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 404:219–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Côté IM, Green SJ, Hixon MA (2013a) Predatory fish invaders: insights from Indo-Pacific lionfish in the western Atlantic and Caribbean. Biol Conserv 164:50–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Côté IM, Green SJ, Morris JA, Akins JL, Steinke D (2013b) Diet richness of invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish revealed by DNA barcoding. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 472:249–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Cucherousset J, Aymes JC, Santoul F, Céréghino R (2007) Stable isotope evidence of trophic interactions between introduced brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis and native brown trout Salmo trutta in a mountain stream of south-west France. J Fish Biol 71(Suplemment D):210–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Cure K, Benkwitt CE, Kindinger TL, Pickering EA, Pusack TJ, McIlwain JL, Hixon MA (2012) Comparative behavior of red lionfish Pterois volitans on native Pacific versus invaded Atlantic coral reefs. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 467:181–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dahl KA, Patterson WF III (2014) Habitat-specific density and diet of rapidly expanding invasive red lionfish, Pterois volitans, populations in the northern Gulf of Mexico. PLoS One 9(8):1–13Google Scholar
  24. Darling ES, Green SJ, O’Leary JK, Côté IM (2011) Indo-Pacific lionfish are larger and more abundant on invaded reefs: a comparison of Kenyan and Bahamian lionfish populations. Biol Inv 13(9):2045–2051CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. DeNiro MJ, Epstein S (1978) Influence of diet on the distribution of carbon isotopes in animals. Geochim Cosmochimica Acta 42:495–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Eddy C, Pitt J, Morris JA, Smith S, Goodbody-Gringley G, Bernal D (2016) Diet of invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) in Bermuda. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 558:193–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fajardo EGG (1979) Surgencia costera en las proximidades de la península colombiana de La Guajira. Bol Cient CIOH 2:7–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fishelson L (1997) Experiments and observations on food consumption, growth and starvation in Dendrochirus brachypterus and Pterois volitans (Pteroinae, Scorpaenidae). Environ Biol Fish 50(4):391–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. García-Rodríguez A (2015) Principales relaciones ecológicas del pez león (Pterois volitans/miles) en arrecifes de La Habana, Cuba. Master Thesis. Centro de Investigaciones Marinas, Universidad de La Habana, La Habana, Cuba, 107 pGoogle Scholar
  30. García-Urueña R, Acero PA, Coronado-Carrascal V (2015) Reef fish community in presence of the lionfish (Pterois volitans) in Santa Marta, Colombian Caribbean. Rev MVZ Córdoba 20:4989–5003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gómez-Pardo HM (2014) Ecología trófica del pez león Pterois volitans (Linnaeus, 1758) en tres formaciones coralinas del Caribe colombiano. Bachelor Thesis, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Santa Marta, 51 pGoogle Scholar
  32. González-Corredor J (2014) El pez león Pterois volitans (Scorpaenidae) como estudio de caso de invasiones biológicas marinas: aspectos biológicos y ecológicos en el Caribe occidental insular colombiano. Master thesis. Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Santa Marta, Colombia, 75 pGoogle Scholar
  33. Green SJ, Côté IM (2009) Record densities of Indo-Pacific lionfish on Bahamian coral reefs. Coral Reefs 28(1):107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Green SJ, Côté IM (2014) Trait-based diet selection: prey behaviour and morphology predict vulnerability to predation in reef fish communities. J Anim Ecol 83(6):1451–1460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Green SJ, Akins JL, Côté IM (2011) Foraging behaviour and prey consumption in the Indo-Pacific lionfish on Bahamian coral reefs. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 433:159–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Green SJ, Akins JL, Maljković A, Côté IM (2012) Invasive lionfish drive Atlantic coral reef fish declines. PLoS One 7(3):1–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hernández-Abello J, García-Urueña R, Acero PA (2015) Estructura de tallas y preferencia al sustrato del pez león (Pterois volitans) (Scorpaeniformes: Scorpaenidae) en Santa Marta (Colombia). Acta Biol Colomb 20(2):175–182Google Scholar
  38. Hyslop EJ (1980) Stomach contents analysis-a review of methods and their application. J Fish Biol 17:411–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Ivanova NV, Zemlak TS, Hanner RH, Hebert PDN (2007) Universal primer cocktails for fish DNA barcoding. Mol Ecol Notes 7(4):544–548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Jud ZR, Layman CA, Lee JA, Arrington DA (2011) Recent invasion of a Florida (USA) estuarine system by lionfish Pterois volitans/P. miles. Aq Biol 13(1):21–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kalogirou S, Corsini M, Kondilatos G, Wennhage H (2007) Diet of the invasive piscivorous fish Fistularia commersonii in a recently colonized area of the eastern Mediterranean. Biol Inv 9:887–896CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kim SL, Koch PL (2012) Methods to collect, preserve, and prepare elasmobranch tissues for stable isotope analysis. Environ Biol Fish 95(1):53–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Layman CA, Allgeier JE (2012) Characterizing trophic ecology of generalist consumers: a case study of the invasive lionfish in the Bahamas. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 448:131–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Linardich C, Ralph G, Carpenter K, Cox N, Robertson DR, Harwell H, Acero P A, Anderson Jr W, Barthelat F, Bouchereau L, Brown JJ, Buchanan J, Buddo D, Collette B, Comeros-Raynal M, Craig M, Curtis M, Defex T, Dooley J, Driggers III W, Elfes-Livsey C, Fraser T, Gilmore Jr R, Grijalba Bendeck L, Hines A, Kishore R, Lindeman K, Maréchal JP, McEachran J, McManus R, Moore J, Munroe T, Oxenford H, Pezold F, Pina Amargós F, Polanco-Fernández A, Polidoro B, Pollock C, Robins R, Russell B, Sayer C, Singh-Renton S, Smith-Vaniz W, Tornabene L, Van Tassell J, Vié JC, Williams JT (2017) The conservation status of marine bony shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean. IUCN, Gland., 75 pGoogle Scholar
  45. Mack RN, Simberloff D, Lonsdale WM, Evans H, Clout M, Bazzaz FA (2000) Biotic invasions: causes, epidemiology, global consequences, and control. Ecol Appl 10(3):689–710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. MacNeil MA, Connolly SR (2015) Multi-scale patterns and processes in reef fish abundance. In: Mora C (ed) Ecology of fishes on coral reefs. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 116–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. McCleery C (2011) A comparative study of the feeding ecology of invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans) in the Caribbean. Physis J Mar Sci 9:38–43Google Scholar
  48. Molnar JL, Gamboa RL, Revenga C, Spalding MD (2008) Assessing the global threat of invasive species to marine biodiversity. Front Ecol Environ 6(9):485–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mooney HA, Cleland EE (2001) The evolutionary impact of invasive species. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 98(10):5446–5451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Morris JA, Akins JL (2009) Feeding ecology of invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans) in the Bahamian archipelago. Environ Biol Fish 86(3):389–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Morris JA, Akins JL, Barse A, Cerino D, Freshwater DW (2009) Biology and ecology of the invasive lionfishes, Pterois miles and Pterois volitans. Proceedings of the 61st Gulf Carib Fish Inst 61: 1–6Google Scholar
  52. Muñoz RC, Currin CA, Whitfield PE (2011) Diet of invasive lionfish on hard bottom reefs of the Southeast USA: insights from stomach contents and stable isotopes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 432:181–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Muñoz-Escobar L, Gil-Agudelo DL (2012) Composición dietaria del pez león, Pterois volitans (Pisces: Scorpaenidae), en Santa Marta y El Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona. Bol Invest Mar Cost 41(2):471–477Google Scholar
  54. Newsome SD, Martínez del Río C, Bearhop S, Phillips DL (2007) A niche for isotopic ecology. Front Ecol Environ 5(8):429–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Newsome SD, Yeakel JD, Wheatley PV, Tinker MT (2012) Tools for quantifying isotopic niche space and dietary variation at the individual and population level. J Mamm 93(2):329–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Pabón P, Acero PA (2016) Ecología trófica del invasor pez león Pterois volitans en el Caribe colombiano: Impacto sobre familias ícticas de Santa Marta y San Andrés. In: Campos-Campos N, Acero PA (eds) Contribuciones en Ciencias del Mar. Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Santa Marta, pp 50–74Google Scholar
  57. Pantoja-Echevarría LM, Chevalier-Monteagudo PP, Cabrera-Guerra D, Corrada-Wong RI, Cobián-Rojas D, Caballero-Aragón H, García-Rodríguez A, Fernández-Osoria RM (2017) Superposición de la dieta del pez león Pterois volitans (Teleostei: Scorpaenidae) con la de peces nativos de nivel trófico similar en Cuba. Bol Invest Mar Cost 46:115–134Google Scholar
  58. Pimiento C, Nifong JC, Hunter ME, Monaco E, Silliman BR (2013) Habitat use patterns of the invasive red lionfish Pterois volitans: a comparison between mangrove and reef systems in San Salvador, Bahamas. Mar Ecol 36:28–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Pinkas L, Oliphant MS, Iverson LK (1971) Food habits ofalbacore, bluefin tuna and bonito in Californian waters. Calif Fish Game 152:1–105Google Scholar
  60. Pinnegar J, Polunin N (2000) Contributions of stable-isotope data to elucidating food webs of Mediterranean rocky littoral fishes. Mar Biol 122:399–409Google Scholar
  61. Post DM, Layman CA, Arrington DA, Takimoto G, Quattrochi J, Montaña CG (2007) Getting to the fat of the matter: models, methods and assumptions for dealing with lipids in stable isotope analyses. Oecologia 152(1):179–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Rilov G (2009) Predator-prey interactions of marine invaders. In: Rilov G, Crooks JA (eds) Biological invasions in marine ecosystems. Ecological studies (analysis and synthesis) vol. 204. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, pp 261–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Robertson DR, Peña EA, Posada JM, Claro R (2015) Peces costeros del Gran Caribe: Sistema de información en línea. Version 1.0. Instituto Smithsonian de Investigaciones Tropicales, Balboa, República de Panamá. http://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/caribbean/es/pages
  64. Rocha LA, Rocha CR, Baldwin CC, Weigt LA, McField M (2015) Invasive lionfish preying on critically endangered reef fish. Coral Reefs 34(3):803–806CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Rojas S, Tavera y JJ, Acero P. A (In press) Unraveling lionfish invasion: Is Pterois volitans truly a morphologically novel predator in the Caribbean? Biol InvGoogle Scholar
  66. Romero D (2017) Dieta del pez león Pterois volitans en dos ambientes del Caribe colombiano. Bachelor Thesis, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Santa Marta, 58 pGoogle Scholar
  67. Sandel V, Martínez-Fernández D, Wangpraseurt D, Sierra L (2014) Ecology and management of the invasive lionfish Pterois volitans/miles complex (Perciformes: Scorpaenidae) in southern Costa Rica. Rev Biol Trop 63(1):213–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Schofield PJ (2009) Geographic extent and chronology of the invasion of the non-native lionfish (Pterois volitans [Linnaeus 1758] and P.miles [Bennett 1828]) in the western North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. Aq Inv 4(3):473–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Selwyn JD, Johnson JE, Downey-Wall AM, Bynum AM, Hamner RM, Hogan JD, Bird CE (2017) Simulations indicate that scores of lionfish (Pterois volitans) colonized the Atlantic Ocean. PeerJ 5:e3996.  https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3996 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Spalding MD, Fox HE, Allen GR, Davidson N, Ferdaña ZA, Finlayson M, Robertson J (2007) Marine ecoregions of the world: a bioregionalization of coastal and shelf areas. Bioscience 57(7):573–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Valdez-Moreno M, Quintal-Lizama C, Gómez-Lozano R, García-Rivas MDC (2012) Monitoring an alien invasion: DNA barcoding and the identification of lionfish and their prey on coral reefs of the Mexican Caribbean. PLoS One 7(6):1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Villaseñor-Derbez JC, Herrera-Pérez R (2014) Brief description of prey selectivity and ontogenetic changes in the diet of the invasive lionfish Pterois volitans (Actinopterygii, Scorpaenidae) in the Mexican Caribbean. Pan-Am J Aq Sci 9(2):131–135Google Scholar
  73. Whitfield P, Gardner T, Vives S, Gilligan M, Courtenay W, Ray G, Hare J (2002) Biological invasion of the Indo-Pacific lionfish Pterois volitans along the Atlantic coast of North America. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 235:289–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Whitfield PE, Hare JA, David AW, Harter SL, Muñoz RC, Addison CM (2007) Abundance estimates of the Indo-Pacific lionfish Pterois volitans/miles complex in the western North Atlantic. Biol Inv 9(1):53–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Williams AB (1984) Shrimps, lobsters and crabs of the Atlantic coast of the Eastern United States, Maine to Florida. Smithsonian Institution Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arturo Acero P.
    • 1
    Email author
  • Diana Bustos-Montes
    • 1
  • P. Pabón Quintero
    • 1
  • Carlos Julio Polo-Silva
    • 2
  • A. Sanjuan Muñoz
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto de Estudios en Ciencias del Mar (CECIMAR). Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede CaribeSanta MartaColombia
  2. 2.Facultad de Ciencias Naturales e IngenieríaUniversidad Jorge Tadeo LozanoSanta MartaColombia

Personalised recommendations