Following Behavior of Alphestes immaculatus and Serranus psittacinus in association with Muraena lentiginosa

(97.5MB, 00:01:48)
Shot Date: 2008/10
Shot Location: La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Alphestes immaculatus and Serranus psittacinus

Key Words
moray eel

Brad Erisman and Matthew Craig
2010/04/03 submitted

Animalia >Chordata >Osteichthyes >Unidentified >Unidentified >Unidentified >

The movie shows a novel behavioral association between two small seabasses, Alphestes immaculatus and Serranus psittacinus, and a moray eel Muraena lentiginosa. The fish follow the eel while it searches for prey in the reef, and they attempt to take prey items the eel captures. Several different individual A. immaculatus followed the same eel, but each individual only followed the eel within the boundary of its territory. When the eel moved from a territory of one Alphestes to another, the first fish would cease following and a second individual would begin following the eel. This movie was filmed during a single dive that took place in October 2008 in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. This type of association between seabasses and moray eels, known as following behavior, has been reported for other groupers and seabasses. However, such behaviors have not been reported for these species.

(Data No.momo100403ai01b)

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