Physical and behavioral differences between the three color morphologies of Aulostomus maculatus

Behavioral and physical differences are sometimes the result of a particular color morphology of a species. Aulostomus maculatus, the west Atlantic Trumpetfish, has three color morphs, and was studied to determine if behavioral or physical differences exist between the three color morphs. This study was conducted at Yellow Sub dive site, located on the leeward side of Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean. Data were collected using SCUBA transects at four depths, and each transect was repeated 6 times. Size (total length, cm), depth (m), environment type (distinguishing corals or objects), substrate type, distance from substrate, body position, and body movement of A. maculatus was recorded for each trumpetfish observed. Significant differences were seen between size and color morph (One-way ANOVA: df = 2, 184, F = 4.30 , p < 0.05), depth and color morph (Kruskal-Wallis: df = 2, Chi-square = 35.11, p < 0.0), and mean density of color morphs at each transect depth (Kruskal-Wallis: df = 2, Chi-square = 11.15, p < 0.01). These results indicate that there are significant differences between the three color morphs of A. maculatus.

This student research was retrieved from Physis: Journal of Marine Science XI (Fall 2012)19: 15-20 from CIEE Bonaire.

Back to search results