Scientia Marina 69(2): 223-229
use by the pearly razorfish, Xyrichtys novacula (Pisces: Labridae)
de hábitat por el doncella cuchilla, Xyrichtys novacula.)
Department of Zoology-Marine Biology, School of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimioupolis, Athens 15784, Greece
SUMMARY: The population density of the pearly razorfish, Xyrichtys novacula, was estimated in eastern Mediterranean areas and was related to specific environmental variables, laying emphasis on the sediment granulometry. The density of X. novacula ranged from 0 to 20.0 individuals per 1000m2. No correlation between X. novacula density and season, depth or the presense of common prey species was found. The X. novacula density was significantly correlated to the granulometry of the sediment, specifically to the median grain diameter Mdφ and the quartile deviation QDφ, according to the model . The highest X. novacula densities occur in moderately or well sorted, coarse or very coarse sand. The density and distribution of X. novacula seem to largely depend on the sediment characteristics, due to the sand-diving behaviour of the species that necessitates the existence of appropriate substrate. Evidence is presented against the reported theory that during the cold season the species spends most of the time buried in the sand.
Keywords: behavioural ecology, Mediterranean, sand-diving, burying behaviour, sediment granulometry.
Palabras clave: doncella cuchilla, ecología behaviorística, Mediterranean, granulometría del sedimento.