Orientation behavior of butterflyfishes (family Chaetodontidae) on coral reefs: spatial learning of route specific landmarks and cognitive maps
- Department of Zoology and Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii, 96822, Honolulu, HI, U.S.A.
Synopsis: Foraging butterflyfishes follow predictable paths as they swim from one food patch to another within their territories and home ranges. The pattern is repeated throughout the day. The behavior is described in species belonging to the coral feeding guild. Habit formation and spatial learning are implicated. Foraging paths are based on learned locations of route specific landmarks. When a coral head is removed the fish look for it in its former location. If pairs of foraging fish are deflected from the path, they resume their routine pattern at the first landmark they encounter. Periodically, fish make excursions of 30 m or more to distant parts of the reef. Usually they follow different paths on the outbound and homeward legs of these excursions. The critical question is: Are the paths novel? If they are, it is evidence for the use of cognitive maps. Certainly fishes living in the highly structured coral reef environment are prime candidates to use cognitive maps in their orientation behavior.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 4 - ethologie animale
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Aquatic Science
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics