Détail de la notice
Titre du Document
Sponge-feeding by the Caribbean starfish Oreaster reticulatus
Auteur(s)
WULFF J. L.
Résumé
The common Caribbean starfish Oreaster reticulatus (Linnaeus) feeds on sponges by everting its stomach onto a sponge and digesting the tissue, leaving behind the sponge skeleton. In the San Blas Islands, Republic of Panama, 54.2% of the 1549 starfish examined from February 1987 to June 1990 at eight sites were feeding, and 61.4% of these were feeding on sponges, representing 51 species. Sponges were fed on disproportionately heavily in comparison to their abundance, which was only 9.7% of available prey. In feeding choice experiments, 736 pieces of 34 species of common sponges from a variety of shallow-water habitats, and also 9 ind of a coral, were offered to starfish in individual underwater cages. Acceptance or rejection of sponge species was unambiguous for 31 of the 34 species, and there was a clear relationship between sponge acceptability and sponge habitat. Starfish ate 16 of 20 species that normally grow only on the reefs, but only 1 of 14 species that live in the seagrass meadows and rubble flats surrounding the reefs. The starfish live in the seagrass meadows and rubble flats, and avoid the reefs, and so the acceptable reef sponges are generally inaccessible until a storm fragments and transports them into starfish habitat. After Hurricane Joan washed fragments of reef sponges into a seagrass meadow in October 1988, starfish consumed the edible species. When the seagrass meadow was experimentally seeded with tagged reef sponge fragments in June 1994, O. reticulatus
Editeur
Springer; Springer
Identifiant
ISSN : 0025-3162 CODEN : MBIOAJ
Source
Marine biology (Berlin) A. 1995, vol. 123, n° 2, pp. 313-325 [bibl. : 52 ref.]
Langue
Anglais
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