Rapid Wasting Disease Pix on the WWW

Les Kaufman lesk at bio.bu.edu
Fri Oct 24 15:54:31 EDT 1997

I have looked at James Cervino's RWD pictures on  the Web.  Commenting on
something I have not myself seen in the field may be of limited value, but
I am curious how others' interpretations compare to my own.

I think the pictures suggest that RWD has an etiology that is largely
independent of parrotfish.

However, I think it is probable that SOME of the carbonate destruction is
the result of (presumably) secondary parrotfish damage, probably by S.
viride.  S. viride do not always leave clear marks of the sort normally
associated with large Scarus spp.  In one of the pictures I saw traces of
longitudinal rays that look like the scrapes left by individual denticles
in the S. viride beak.  It also looked to me like there was some algal
growth on some of the marks; if so, this would certainly attract attention
from parrotfishes after the fact.

Les Kaufman
Boston University Marine Program
Department of Biology
Boston University
5 Cummington Street
Boston, MA 02215

e-mail: lesk at bio.bu.edu
phone: 617-353-5560
fax:   617-353-6340

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