Habitat selection and diet in 2 species of pipefish from seagrass


A. S. Steffe, M. Westoby, J. D. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Pipefishes Stigmatopora argus and S. nigra were collected dunng field experiments to test responses of seagrass-associated fishes to changes in the height and density of sea grass leaves. Most pipefish greatly preferred long, high-density sea grass leaves to short or low-density leaves. The exception was female S. argus, which were found in thinned long sea grass as often as in dense long.Females of both species had fuller guts than males Irrespective of habitat, consistent with the idea that males suffer some loss of feeding efficiency due to adaptations for brooding young. Sex ratios measured at 2 different spatial scales were biased in favour of males for both species. For both species the clutch size of male pipe fish with completely filled brood pouches was, on average, the same as the number of developing ovanan eggs in females. These results are reviewed in light of current sexual selection theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 1989

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