[Coral-List] what eats diadema?

Anders Knudby knudby at gmail.com
Wed Jan 13 14:14:39 EST 2010

A few years ago we made some systematic observations at Chumbe Island Coral
Park, Zanzibar. Only one species was observed killing and eating Diadema -
the orange-striped triggerfish, Balistapus undulatus. Several other fish,
mostly wrasses, would scavenge. We did not observe during the night, though,
so the presence of nucturnal predators is possible.

Interestingly, we also asked locals, fishermen and park rangers, what eats
Diadema. In addition to the orange-striped triggerfish, they mentioned Titan
triggerfish, a variety of helmet shells, and the Giant Triton. Of these,
only the orange-striped triggerfish is present in significant numbers, and
only within effectively protected areas (which are few). So one answer to
the question "what eats Diadema" would seem to be, in Zanzibar, "not much".

Anders Knudby, PhD
e-mail: knudby at gmail.com
skype ID: anders.knudby

Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

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