Reef fishes of St. Paul’s Rocks: new records and notes on biology and zoogeography
Bertran M. Feitoza, Luiz A. Rocha, Osmar J. Luiz-Junior, Sergio R. Floeter and João L. Gasparini
aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 61-82, Volume 7, Issue 2 – June 2003
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. The aim of this work is to add new information on the abudance, biology, zoogeography and taxonomy of its reef fishes. In the course of four expeditions the fish fauna was surveyed in tide pools and over reefs at depths down to 62 m using a number of different methodologies. Seventy-five fish species (25 new records) were recorded, of which 58 are reef inhabitants and 17 are pelagic. The most speciose families were Muraenidae (seven species), Carangidae (five), Pomacentridae (five), Labridae (four), Serranidae (three), and Scaridae (three). Stegaster sanctipauli (Pomacentrdae), Chromis multilineata (Pomacentridae), Melichthys niger (Balistidae) and Caranx lugubris (Caranagidae) were the most visually abundant fishes. Depsite being recorded in prior surveys, Carcharhinus galapagensis and Anthias salmopunctatus were not observed by our team. 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. It is thought therefore that St. Paul’s Rocks should be regarded as an impoverished outost of the Brazilian province.
Amaral, F. D., Hudson, M. M., Silveira, F. L. & A. E. Migotto. (in press). Cnidarians of Saint Peter and St. Paul Archipelago, Northeast Brazil. Proceedings of the Biological Association of Washington.
Aronson, R. B. 1983. Foraging behavior of the west Atlantic trumpetfish, Aulostomus maculatus: use of large, herbivorous reef fishes as camouflage. Bulletin of Marine Science, 33 (1): 166-171.
Böhlke, E. B., McCosker, J. E. & J. E. Böhlke. 1989. Family Muraenidae. In. Fishes of the Western North Atlantic (Ed. E. B. Böhlke): 104-206. Sears Foundation for Marine Research, Yale University. 665pp.
Bowen, V. T. 1966. St. Paul’s on the subway. Oceanus, 12 (4): 2-4.
Bowen, B. W., Bass, A. L., Rocha, L. A. Grant, W. S. & D. R. Robertson. 2001. Phylogeography of the trumpetfish (Aulostomus): Ring species complex in a global scale. Evolution, 55 (5): 1029-1039.
Briggs, J. C. 1995. Global Biogeography, Developments in Paleontology and Stratigraphy, 14. Elsevier, Amsterdam. 452pp.
Compagno, L. J. V. 1999. Checklist of living elasmobranchs. In. Sharks, Skates, and Rays. The Biology of Elasmobranch Fishes. (Ed. W. C. Hamlett): 471-498. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London.
Crossman, D. J., Choat, J. H., Clements, K.D., Hardy, J. & J. McConochie. 2001 Detritus as food for grazing fishes on coral reefs. Limnology and Oceanography, 46: 1596-1605.
Debelius, H. 1997. Mediterranean and Atlantic Fish Guide. IKAN-Unterwasserarchiv, Frankfurt, 305 pp. DeLoach, N. 1999. Reef fish behavior: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Jacksonville, Florida, 359 pp.
Diamant, A. & M. Shpigel. 1985. Interspecific feeding associations of groupers (Teleostei: Serranidae) with octopuses and moray eels in Gulf of Eilat (Aqaba). Environmental Biology of Fishes, 13 (2): 153-159.
Dias, T. L. P., Rosa, I. L. & B. M. Feitoza. 2001. Food resource and habitat sharing by the three Western Atlantic Surgeonfishes (Teleostei: Acanthuridae: Acanthurus) off Paraíba coast, North-eastern Brazil. aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology, 5 (1): 1-10.
Edwards, A. J. & R. Lubbock. 1983(a). The ecology of Saint Paul’s Rocks (Equatorial Atlantic). Journal of Zoology, London, 200: 51-69.
Edwards, A. J. & R. Lubbock. 1983(b). Marine Zoogeography of St. Paul’s Rocks. Journal of Biogeography, 10: 65-72.
Feitoza, B. M., Dias, T. L. P., Rocha, L. A. & J. L. Gasparini. 2002. First record of cleaning activity in the slippery dick Halichoeres bivittatus (Perciformes: Labridae), off northeastern Brazil. Aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology, 5 (2): 73-76.
Floeter, S. R. & J. L. Gasparini. 2000, The southwestern Atlantic reef fish fauna: composition and zoogeographic patterns. Journal of Fish Biology, 56: 1099-1114.
Gasparini, J. L. & S. R. Floeter. 2001. The shore fishes of Trindade Island, western South Atlantic. Journal of Natural History, 35: 1639-1656.
Grutter, A. S. 1999. Cleaner fish really do clean. Nature, 398: 672-673.
Hawkins, J. P., Roberts, C. M. & V. Clark. 2000. The threatened status of restricted-range coral reef fish species. Animal Conservation, 3: 81-88.
Hilton-Taylor, C. (Compiler). 2000. 2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland a Cambridge, UK. xviii + 61 pp.
Humann, P. & N. Deloach. 2002. Reef Fish Identification – Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. 3rd Edition, New World Publications, Jacksonville, Florida, 481pp.
Jones, G. P., Milicich, M. J., Emslie, M. J & C. Nunow. 1999. Self-recruitment in a coral reef fish population. Nature, 402: 802-804.
Joyeux, J. C., Floeter, S. R., Ferreira, C. E. L. & J. L. Gasparini. 2001. Biogeography of tropical reef fishes: the South Atlantic puzzle. Journal of Biogeography, 28: 831-841.
Losey, Jr., G. S. 1971. Communication between fishes in cleaning symbiosis. In: Aspects of the biology of symbiosis (Ed. T. C. Cheng.): 45-76. University Park Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
Lubbock, R. & A. Edwards. 1981. The fishes of Saint Paul’s Rocks. Journal of Fish Biology, 18: 135-157. Lubbock, R. 1980. The shore fishes of Ascension Island. Journal of Fish Biology, 17: 283-303.
Melson, W. G., Hart, S. R. & G. Thompson. 1972. St Paul’s Rocks, equatorial Atlantic; petrogenesis, radiometric ages, and implications on sea-floor spreading. Memoirs of the Geological Society of America, 132: 241-272.
Muss, A., Robertson, D. R., Stepien, C. A., Wirtz, P. & B. W. Bowen. 2001. Phylogeography of Ophioblennius: the role of ocean currents and geography in reef fish evolution. Evolution, 55 (3): 561-572.
Moyle, P. B. & J. J. Cech. 1996. Fishes: an introduction to ichthyology. Third Edition. Prentice Hall, Inc., 590 pp. Nelson, J. S. 1994. Fishes of the world. 3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York. 600 pp.
Planes, S. & C. Fauvelot. 2002. Isolation by distance and vicariance drive genetic structure of a coral reef fish in the Pacific Ocean. Evolution, 56: 378-399.
Randall, J. E. 1967. Food habits of reef fishes of the West Indies. Studies in Tropical Oceanography, 5: 665-847.
Randall, J. E. 1996. Caribbean Reef Fishes. Third Edition. T. F. H. Publications: Hong Kong, 368 pp.
Roberts, C. M. & Hawkins, J. P. 1999. Extinction risk in the sea. Trends in Ecol. Evol., 14: 241-246.
Robertson, D. R. & G. R. Allen. 1996. Zoogeography of the shorefish fauna of Clipperton Atoll, Coral Reefs, 15: 121-131.
Robertson, D. R. 2001. Population maintenance among tropical reef fishes: Inferences from smallisland endemics. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences 98 (10): 5667-5670.
Rocha, L. A. 2000. Interspecific aggression in Spanish Hogfishes (Bodianus rufus) in Northeastern Brazil. Coral Reefs, 19: 184.
Rocha, L. A., Rosa I. L. & R. S. Rosa. 1998. Peixes Recifais da Costa da Paraíba, Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, 15 (2): 553-566.
Rocha, L. A., Bass, A. L., Robertson, D. R. & B. W. Bowen. 2002. Adult habitat preferences, larval dispersal, and the comparative phylogeography of three Atlantic surgeonfishes (Teleostei: Acanthuridae). Molecular Ecolology, 11: 243-252.
Rosa, R. S. & R. L. Moura. 1997. Visual assessment of reef fish community structure in the Atol das Rocas Biological Reserve, off Northeastern Brazil. Proceedings of the 8th International Coral Reef Symposium, 1: 983-986.
Sale, P. F. 1991. The Ecology of Fishes on Coral Reefs. Academic Press: San Diego, 754 pp.
Sazima, I.; Moura, R. L. & J. L. Gasparini. 1998. Thevwrasse Halichoeres cyanocephalus (Labridae) as avspecialized cleaner fish. Bulletin of Marine Science, 63 (3): 605-610.
Silvano, R. A. M. 2001. Feeding habits and interspecific feeding associations of Caranx latus (Carangidae) in a subtropical reef. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 60: 465-470.
Snyderman, M. & C. Wiseman. 1996. Guide to Marine Life: Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida. Aqua Quest Publications, New York, 284pp.
Strand, S. 1988. Following behavior: interspecific foraging associations among Gulf of California reef fishes. Copeia, 1988 (2): 351-357.
Swearer, S. E., Caselle, J. E., Lea, D.W. & R.R. Warner. 1999. Larval retention and recruitment in an island population of coral-reef fish. Nature, 402: 799-802.
Thresher, R. E. 1991. Geographic variability in the ecology of coral reef fishes: evidence, evolution and possible implications. In The Ecology of Fishes on Coral Reefs (Sale, P. F. ed.): 401-436. Academic Press, San Diego, 754 pp.