A newly discovered predator of the crown-of-thorns starfish
German Development Service – DED 11th Floor PDCP Bank Center Building, VA Rufino corner LP Leviste Streets Salcedo Village 1227 Makati PhilippinesCoral 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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- "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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- "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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- "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. "
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.