Bleher’s Biotopes in Nature and in Aquaria
Marine: Reef fishes of St. Paul’s Rocks
St. Paul’s Rocks is a very small group of rocky islands located on the mid-Atlantic Ridge just north of the Equator, about 1000 km from the Brazilian coast. In the course of four recent expeditions the fish fauna was surveyed in tide pools and over reefs at depths down to 62 m. Seventy-five fish species were recorded, of which 58 are reef inhabitants and 17 are pelagic. The most speciose families found here are Muraenidae (seven species), Carangidae (five), Pomacentridae (five), Labridae (four), Serranidae (three), and Scaridae (three). Stegastes sanctipauli (Pomacentridae), Chromis multilineata (Pomacentridae), Melichthys niger (Balistidae) and Caranx lugubris (Caranagidae) were the most visually abundant fishes. Despite being recorded in prior expeditions, Carcharhinus galapagensis and Anthias salmopunctatus were not observed. It was observed that 60.3% of the reef fish species are carnivores, 15.5% planktivores, 8.6% omnivores, 8.6% territorial herbivores, and 6.9% non-territorial herbivores. Of the 58 reef fishes recorded, four are endemic to St. Paul’s Rocks and about 80% also occur off the coast of Brazil.
by Bertran M. Feitoza, Luiz A. Rocha, Osmar J. Luiz-Junior, Sergio R. Floeter,
João L. Gasparini and Heiko Bleher
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