[Coral-List] Coryphopterus personatus feeding habits

Hernandez Edwin coral_giac at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 16 20:34:46 EST 2003

Dear coral_listers and other colleages:

I've been writing a manuscript about the results of
our long-term monitoring studies of reef fish
communities within the Luis Pena Channel No-Take
Natural Reserve, in Culebra Island, Puerto Rico. We
have found interesting results comparing data from the
3 years before the reserve designation to the
following 4 years.  There has been a significant
recovery of many of the fishery target species,
including piscivore groups.

However, we've found an unexpected up to 10-fold
increase in the population density of the masked goby,
Coryphopterus personatus (Gobiidae), particularly
during the last 2 years. This is coincident with a
major decline in coral cover and a major increase in
macroalgal and cyanobacterial cover (Hernandez-Delgado
and Sabat, in review).

I'm wondering if this bloom in the masked gobies
population is habitat-related (i.e., increased food
supply).  Many gobiid species are omnivorous, thus
algae and detritus are part of their diet (Randall,
1967).  I'm suggesting that, besides successful
recruitment cycles, population increases could be the
result of increased food supplies as a result of
increased algal overgrowth and the subsequent
increased production of detritus.

However, I have not been able to find any single
reference about the feeding habits, stomach contents,
or similar information about Coryphopterus personatus.

Also, C. personatus is a benthic spawner with external
fertilization. However, I'm not sure what is their
preferred spawning habitat, although I think that reef
crevices could be.  Then I guess that another
explanation to their apparent recent success could be
related to increased microhabitat tridimentionality
provided by macroalgal and turf canopies.

I've browsed FishBase, my personal library, and as
many other sources available.

I'd like to have some light on any reference

1. Feeding habits.
2. Reproductive frequency.
3. Preferred spawning habitat.

Also, will appreciate if anybody else has long-term
data regarding the population dynamics of this

Thanks in advance!

Saludos desde Puerto Rico.

Edwin A. Hernandez, Ph.D.
Coral Reef Long-Term Ecological Monitoring and
Restoration Program
180 Montebrisas
Apt. 2-203
San Juan, PR 00926

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