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Egypt. J. Exp. Biol. (Zoo.). 2008; 4(0): 199-204


BEHAVIOURAL RESPONSES TOWARDS DIFFERENT LIGHT INTENSITIES OF TWO RED SEA SURGEONFISHES

Magdy A. Alwany.

Abstract
Little is known about the behaviour of reef fish under keeping conditions (aquarium). Several factors may have direct effects on fish behaviour in this artificial environment. This study described the behavioural ecology of two surgeonfish species (Zebrasoma desjardinii and Z. xanthurum) in both natural habitat (the Northern Red Sea reefs) and public aquarium (Schönbrunn Aquarium, Vienna, Austria) under different light intensities. The natural habitat, in the Northern Red Sea reefs, was used as control in this study. In normal light intensity (150 lx) in Schönbrunn Aquarium, the average feeding rate of Z. desjardinii was 44.9 bites 5 min-1, while that of Z. xanthurum was 53.9 bites 5 min-1. Both Zebrasoma species have low feeding rates under low (50 lx) and high (300 lx) light intensities. In the Red Sea, the aggressive behaviour of Z. desjardinii was higher, 12.7 acts 10 min-1, than of Z. xanthurum, 8.3 acts 10 min-1. Generally, both Zebrasoma species have low aggressive acts under low light intensity and high aggressive acts under high light intensity. However, more research is necessary to confirm that light is one of the controlling factors in the behaviour of the two Zebrasoma species under different keeping conditions.

Key words: Interactions – aggression – light intensity – surgeonfishes – Red Sea


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