parrotfish pyjama's

Henrich Bruggemann j.h.bruggemann at
Thu Mar 16 04:15:01 EST 2000

Greetings Coral-Listers,
Probably all of you know that some parrotfishes and wrasses spend the night lying motionless inside a mucus cocoon, while some of you may even have observed this personally. I have searched the scientific literature to learn what scarid and labrid species make such cocoons, but failed to find a clear answer. Some authors even suggested that the production of these cocoons depends on the age of the fish, and varies with environmental factors (e.g. predation risk). 
    The aim of this message to collect the scattered information on this subject and compile it; the result will be posted back on Coral-List. Therefore, I kindly ask the members of this list to share with me their observations on scarid and labrid fish sleeping inside mucus cocoons and on the environments in which were observed. I am grateful for any (reliable) information and comments from colleagues, scuba-divers, and aquarium holders. 

Specific questions are:
    Did you ever observe a sleeping labrid or scarid fish on the reef well enough to tell with certitude what species it was? 
    If yes:
    a) what species was it?
    b) what was it's life phase? (juvenile, initial phase, terminal phase)
    c) was mucus cocoon present?
    d) any special observations on the mucus cocoon? (e.g. was it intact, were other biota associated) 
    d) what was the habitat? (e.g. fore reef slope, at 12 m depth)
    e) short description of the sleeping site (e.g. on sandy bottom under coral boulder)
    f ) human impact on the reef in question (e.g. high fishing intensity) 

In advance, many thanks for your comments.
Sincerely, Henrich Bruggemann
Please respond to:
j.h.bruggemann at
Dr. Henrich Bruggemann
Dept. of Marine Biology
University of Groningen
P.O. Box 14, 9750 AA Haren
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 50 3632259
Fax: +31 50 3632261
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