[Coral-List] circular patches on Millepora

BRUCE CARLSON exallias2 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 29 21:21:24 EDT 2012

> Dear listers,
> Stephan initially raised the issue of the circular white patches on Millepora in the Red Sea. In Vol 43, Issue 18 (March 19), Bruce sent text and a video link showing how the blenny, Exallias brevis can cause circular "scars" on Millepora in the Red Sea. Interestingly, we have received a wide variety of alternative explanations ranging from bleaching, to invertebrate predation to disease. What would be helpful now would be for those in the field in the Red Sea to take the time to observe and video Exallias in action on Millepora so that this can be confirmed and shared.
> But meanwhile another mystery has come to our attention. A photograph showing Millepora with circular scars that are very similar to those in the Red Sea was sent to us by Rosa Rodriguez-Martinez but her photos were taken at Puerto Morelos in the Caribbean.
> See http://reefcheck.de/de/news-und-events/neues-von-reef-check
> Other colleagues reported similar scars from Bermuda, the Florida Keys and from Porto de Galinhas Beach - Pernambuco (Brazil) as well.
> Exallias brevis is clearly a corallivore specialist - but it doesn´t occur in the Carribean.
> The scars still look highly reminiscent of the scraping marks that most blennies make.
> We are wondering which blenny in the Caribbean, might occasionally nip at Millepora.
> So we are enlisting help from those on the Coral-List.
> This a list from Fishbase of all Blennies in the Caribbean:
> Entomacrodus nigricans
> Hypleurochilus aequipinnis
> Hypleurochilus bermudensis
> Hypleurochilus springeri
> Hypsoblennius exstochilus
> Hypsoblennius invemar
> Lupinoblennius dispar
> Lupinoblennius vinctus
> Omobranchus punctatus
> Ophioblennius atlanticus
> Ophioblennius macclurei 
> Parablennius marmoreus
> Scartella cristata
   Parablennius pilicornis
> Rosa mentioned that the Labrisomid Labrisomus nuchipinnis could also be a possibility.

> Have you observed any of these blennies living close to and feeding on Millepora or feeding on corals in general?
> If so, which species and how often have you observed this behavior?
> Please send your response to exallias2 at gmail.com and moldzi at aol.com 
> Best regards,
> Bruce Carlson, Stephan Moldzio

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