A newly discovered predator of the crown-of-thorns starfish

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Coral Reefs (Impact Factor: 3.32). 08/2008; 27(3):581-581. DOI: 10.1007/s00338-008-0364-9


A large solitary polyp of the genus Pseudocorynactis (Corallimorpharia) was observed to prey on the crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci), which itself has destroyed large areas of coral reefs by solely feeding on the polyps of reef-building corals. We observed Pseudocorynactis sp. to prey on echinoderms and to completely ingest starfishes, including the crown-of-thorns starfish, up to 25 cm in diameter. This newly discovered predator may play a key role in the ecology of crown-of-thorns outbreaks by controlling the juvenile and sub-adult populations of this starfish.

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Available from: Arthur R. Bos
    • "For example, new Philippine fish species were recorded (Bos and Gumanao, 2013;Bos and Smits, 2013) and previously unknown fish (Motomura et al., 2001;Bos, 2014) and crab species (Husana et al., 2013) were taxonomically described. Moreover, the newly described polyps of the corallimorphian Paracorynactis hoplites (Oca~ na et al., 2010) were observed to prey intensively on the crown-of-thorns sea star Acanthaster planci (Bos et al., 2008Bos et al., , 2011), an ecological phenomenon so far only observed in the Davao Gulf. These unusual observations highlight the distinctiveness of biological populations in the Davao Gulf. "
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    ABSTRACT: Length–weight relationships (LWRs) of 139 coral reef and pelagic fish species (representing 34 fish families) were calculated based on 3806 individuals measured at local fish markets near the Davao Gulf in the southern Philippines during weekly visits between March 2009 and July 2011, as well as in June 2012. Fishes were caught with a variety of fishing methods, corroborated by abrasions and injuries. Forty-seven of 139 LWRs were firstly reported and new to science. The mean slope b of the LWRs was 3.035, indicating that the majority of studied species followed isometric growth. Standard length – total length relationships were calculated for all measured fish species. Additionally, standard length – fork length relationships are presented for 108 species. Moreover, fifteen new records of maximum fish length and weight are reported.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Applied Ichthyology
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    • "In recent years however, new records of fishes have been observed in the Davao Gulf (Bos & Gumanao, 2013; Bos & Smits, 2013) and a new fish species Polydactylus longipes (Motomura et al., 2001) was described. Furthermore, unique ecological discoveries, such as a previously unknown corallimorph predator of the crown-of-thorns sea star Acanthaster planci (Bos et al., 2008; 2011b) and a commensal relationship between fishes and the mushroom coral Heliofungia actiniformis (Bos, 2012)—so "
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    ABSTRACT: The goatfish, Upeneus nigromarginatus new species, is described based on 5 specimens (151–196 mm) purchased at a fish market in Panabo City, Mindanao, Philippines. This species is diagnosed by the following counts and external morphology: dorsal fin rays (VIII, 9–10), pectoral fin rays (16), lateral line scales (36–37), total number of gill rakers (25–26), and anal fin rays (I–II, 6). When compared to congeners, U. nigromarginatus new species has a relatively deeper body (31.1–34.8% in SL vs. <30% in SL), shorter snout (7.1–9.0% in SL vs. >9.6 % in SL), and longer pectoral fin (27.7–29.1% in SL vs. <25 % in SL). Upeneus. nigromarginatus new species, has neither stripes on the body, nor bands on the caudal fin. However, a black band borders the distal edges of both the first and second dorsal fins, and at the posterior edge of the upper lobe of the caudal fin; hence the proposed common name ‘black-margined goatfish’. The posterior edge of the ventral caudal lobe has a white margin. The comparisons of a fragment of the Cytochrome C Oxidase Subunit I (COI; 28 specimens representing 10 Upeneus species) and 34 morphometric parameters (Principle Component Analysis; 56 specimens representing 5 genera and 12 mullid species) supported the description of U. nigromarginatus new species.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · The Raffles bulletin of zoology
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    • "The ability of this corallimorpharian to consume large echinoderms is interesting, especially consumption of the major cnidarian predator Acanthaster planci, and may be a special trait of this species. Bos et al. (2008a) observed polyps of Paracorynactis hoplites to prey upon specimens of Acanthaster planci with maximum diameter of 250 mm. We found asteroids as large as 340 mm consumed by polyps up to 170 mm diameter. "
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    ABSTRACT: Polyps of the corallimorpharian Paracorynactis hoplites were studied in coral reefs of the Davao Gulf, the Philippines, between October 2007 and January 2009. Polyps of Paracorynactis hoplites preyed mainly on echinoderms. Predation on seven species of echinoderms was observed in the fi eld (four asteroids, two echinoids and one holothurian); an additional ten species were accepted during feeding trials (four asteroids, four echinoids and two holothurians). The echinoids Diadema setosum, Diadema savignyi and Echinotrix calamaris, and the ophiuriod Ophiomastix sp. were not adversely affected by the polyps. The opisthobranch Phyllidiella pustulosa (Mollusca) was accepted during feeding trials, whereas the gastropod Cypraea tigris was not adversely affected. In a feeding experiment, polyps of Paracorynactis hoplites (maximum diameter 170 mm) completely ingested crown-of-thorns sea stars (Acanthaster planci) of up to 340 mm diameter. The polyps had a mean daily biomass uptake of 24.5 g d-1 when having a single-species asteroid diet. Fishes of several species of families Apogonidae, Gobiidae, Labridae, Pomacentridae, and Pseudochromidae as well as the shrimps (Periclimenes holthuisi, Periclimenes lacerate, Stenopus hispidus and Thor amboinensis) lived near or among the tentacles of the polyps.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · The Raffles bulletin of zoology
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