High levels of heterospecific cohabitation among anemonefishes in Hoga Island, Indonesia

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Journal Article
Marine Biodiversity, 2016, 46 (1), pp. 19 - 20
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Anemonefishes have an obligate association with host sea anemones and normally occur in conspecific groups. Occasionally, heterospecific social groups are observed (Fautin and Allen 1997). Here, we report the highest documented frequency of heterospecific cohabitation in the world. Observations on coral reefs around Hoga Island (Southwest Sulawesi, Indonesia) were conducted on the reef crest and slope habitats (3–15 m depth) during July and August 2014, and cohabitation was recorded in the sea anemones Entacmaea quadricolor, Heteractis crispa and Stichodactyla mertensii. Surveys revealed that 55 out of 106 surveyed sea anemones (52 %) were occupied by more than one species of anenomefish; all other observed sea anemones were occupied by only one. The following combinations of anemonefishes were observed: Amphiprion clarkii (adult)—Premnas biaculeatus (juvenile) (1.8 %), A. melanopus (ad.)—P. biaculeatus (juv.) (3.6 %), A. perideraion (ad.)—A. clarkii (juv.) (7.3 %), A. clarkii (ad.)—A. perideraion (juv.) (85.5 %), A. sandaracinos (ad.)—A. clarkii (juv.) (1.8 %) (Fig. 1).
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