Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria 46(2): 109-114, doi: 10.3750/AIP2016.46.2.06
First record of the seagrass wrasse, Novaculoides macrolepidotus (Bloch, 1791) (Actinopterygii: Perciformes: Labridae), from Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean, with a brief description of its colour pattern variation, escape and reproductive behaviour
expand article infoP. Bourjon, R. Fricke
Open Access
Background. Little is known about the seagrass wrasse, Novaculoides macrolepidotus. In January 2012 it was recorded for the first time from Reunion Island. As its population increased over the years, field observations were made on colour pattern variation, escape and reproductive behaviour. Regarding a cryptic and poorly documented species, these observations, despite their anecdotal form, need to be made available to ichthyologists. The aim of the present paper was to present this first record with associated field observations and to increse interest of ichthyologists in this species. Materials and methods. Observations were made while snorkelling on the west coast of Reunion Island on the fringing reef of L’Ermitage (district of Saint Gilles les Bains). The first specimen was observed on 28 January 2012 in a monospecific seagrass bed of Syringodium isoetifolium. Later surveys on the same reef between 2012 and 2016 provided additional observations of the species. Results. Colour pattern and body proportions of the first observed specimen well agree with N. macrolepidotus as described by Randall and Earle (2004). Subsequently observed specimens expressed a previously undescribed colour pattern variation. Escape and reproductive behaviour was observed and are discussed. Conclusion. A reproducing population of N. macrolepidotus has apparently established at Reunion Island. The present field observations of the behaviour of this species should be followed by more detailed ethological studies.
ethology, connectivity, Reunion Island, coral reef ecosystems