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Settlement behaviour of larvae of the Stripey Snapper, Lutjanus carponotatus (Teleostei: Lutjanidae)


Quere, G and Leis, JM, Settlement behaviour of larvae of the Stripey Snapper, Lutjanus carponotatus (Teleostei: Lutjanidae), Environmental Biology of Fishes, 88, (3) pp. 227-238. ISSN 0378-1909 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1007/s10641-010-9633-x


Larval behaviour is important to dispersal and settlement, but is seldom quantified. Behavioural capabilities of larval Lutjanus carponotatus in both offshore pelagic and reef environments at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef were observed in situ to determine if they were sufficient to influence dispersal. Offshore, larvae swam with higher directional precision and faster on the windward side of the island (28 cm.s−1) than on the leeward side (16 cm s−1). Most larvae swam directionally. Mean swimming directions were southerly in the windward area and northerly in the leeward area. Larvae avoided the surface and remained mostly between 315 m. Larvae released near reefs were 23 times faster swimming away from reefs (19 cm s−1) than swimming toward or over them (68 cm s−1). Speed swimming away was similar to that offshore. Of 41 larvae released near reefs, 73% reached the reef, 59% settled, and 13% of those reaching the reef were eaten. Larvae settled onto hard and soft coral (58%), topographic reef features (29%) and sand and rubble (13%). Settlement depth averaged 5.5 m (28 m). Before settling larvae spent up to 800 s over the reef (mean 231 s) and swam up to 53 m (mean 14 m). About half of the larvae interacted with reef residents including predatory attacks and aggressive approaches by residents and aggressive approaches by settling larvae. Settlement behaviour of L. carponotatus was more similar to a serranid than to pomacentrids. Settlement-stage larvae of L. carponotatus are behaviourally capable, and have a complex settlement behaviour.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Leis, JM (Dr Jeff Leis)
ID Code:94176
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-09-02
Last Modified:2014-09-05

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