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Reproductive Behavior and Bi-Directional Sex Change in a Cryptobenthic Reef Fish, Eviota Epiphanes, in Hawai'i

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Item Summary

Title: Reproductive Behavior and Bi-Directional Sex Change in a Cryptobenthic Reef Fish, Eviota Epiphanes, in Hawai'i
Authors: Deis, Brian
Issue Date: May 2016
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2016]
Abstract: Cryptobenthic reef fishes that reach <5cm as adults account for a considerable amount of fish biodiversity on tropical reefs, but only recently have studies begun to elucidate the importance of the trophic role they may play in reef ecosystems. Eviota epiphanes, a small (2cm TL), cryptobenthic species of goby (Family Gobiidae) has been documented as the most abundant fish on near shore reefs in Hawai'i (Greenfield 2003). Eviota epiphanes (Family: Gobiidae) is a reef fish native to the Hawaiian Islands, and has been hypothesized to be a bi-directional hermaphrodite (i.e., able to alternate between sperm and ova production) (Cole 2010). In addition, elements of the courting behavior displayed by species in this genus are hypothesized to be phylogenetically informative (Sunobe 1998). Individuals were collected around O'ahu and observed in aquaria in pairs of two ova-producing individuals, two sperm-producing individuals, and one ova-producing individual and one sperm-producing individual. Behavioral observations and, when appropriate, the associated presence of eggs, were recorded daily. From these data behaviors associated with reproduction in E. epiphanes were characterized and quantified, in order to test hypotheses proposed by Cole (2010) and Sunobe (1998). The results of this study demonstrate for the first time bi-directional sex change in E. epiphanes, and found courting behavior to be inconsistent with what is hypothesized as representative for the assigned Eviota clade in Sunobe (1998) to which E. epiphanes has been assigned (Karnella and Lachner 1980). In addition, significant differences were found in the frequency of certain behaviors between different pair types. This research is the first in-depth look into the social and reproductive behavior of E. epiphanes and, as such, will contribute to the growing literature on the biology of both serially hermaphroditic and cryptobenthic reef fishes.
Description: M.S. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:M.S. - Zoology

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