Social system of an inshore stock of the red hind grouper, Epinephelus guttatus (Pisces: Serranidae)
- 1) Department of Marine Sciences, University of Puerto Rico, Box 5000, 00681, Mayagüez, PR, U.S.A.
- 2) Fisheries Research Laboratory, Box 3665, 00680, Mayagüez, PR, U.S.A.
Synopsis: According to sex allocation theory, the decision by a female in protogynous fish species to change sex or not should be influenced by, among other things, the mating sex ratio during spawning periods and/or by factors that vary directly with the spawning sex ratio, such as relative rates of behavioral interaction with males and females outside of spawning periods. In groupers that only spawn during a few weeks of the year in large aggregations, individuals must assess the relative value of changing sex or not entirely within the aggregation unless the social system during the remainder of the year provides a behavioral equivalent of the mating sex ratio. Fifty-five individuals of the red hind,Epinephelus guttatus, were tagged and repeatedly located during a 152-day period within a 100 × 100 m grid on a shallow forereef off southwestern Puerto Rico. The home ranges of 22 tagged individuals sighted 10 or more times were 112–5636 m2 in area. Individual home ranges overlapped with the home ranges of 1–18 other individuals. Home ranges of small fish were not clustered within the borders of the home range of larger fish, i.e. fish did not form spatially defined social units. At the end of the study, 31 tagged individuals remained on the grid together with five newly sighted fish. All 36 individuals proved on histological examination to be females similar in size to females in the spawning aggregation of the following year. The sex ratio of this all-female inshore stock differed significantly from the sex ratio of that spawning aggregation. Hence, information predicting the reproductive value of a sex change is not available to females in the inshore stock during nonspawning months.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 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