Ecomorphology of the Feeding Characteristics in Selected Reef Fishes from South AndamanIslands: A Preliminary Study
Ecomorphology of the Feeding Characteristics in Selected Reef Fishes from South Andaman Islands: A Preliminary Study
The feeding apparatus of 11 species of reef fishes from four families, Chaetodontidae, Pomacentridae, Acanthuridae and Scaridae were studied in an ecomorphological perspective. The behavioural ecology was studied through observations during snorkeling. The morphology of the feeding apparatus was analysed through dissections and morphometric studies. The morphology and the ecology of feeding were correlated in the light of previousecomorphological studies. It was concluded that the species with higher gape angle and higher protrusion used the scraping mode of feeding. TuL/HL ratio seems to be the key factor which allows Chaetodon falcula to feed in a unique pattern. Obligate corallivores exploit all the angles of feeding and their feeding frequency is high.The study has indicated a lack of previous literature regarding specific aspects of feeding ecomorphology. It was observed that both the food items and the method of feeding had a connection with the morphological characters. So ecomorphological traits seem to have more interlinks than previously thought. Cluster analysis provided an alternative way of grouping the species according to the ecomorphological traits.