Mud-walled territories and feeding behaviour of Boleophthalmus boddarti (Pisces: Gobiidae) on the Mudflats of Kuwait

D. A. Clayton, J. M. Wright

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Abstract

At high population densities, the amphibious and herbivorous mudskipper Boleophthalmus boddarti construct mud walls around their territories as a means of reducing aggression between neighbours. Because of the walls, territories contain pools of water and exposed mud slopes. Whilst the density of benthic diatom prey was highly variable, the highest was found on the exposed mud slopes and the lowest on the boundary walls. Fish grazed mainly on the mud slopes. There were no significant differences in diatom density between territorial and non-territorial areas or between grazed and non-grazed areas within territories. The variation of the diatom density, however, was reduced within territories. The mud walls are considered to play a secondary, indirect role in maintaining populations of diatoms within territories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-95
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Ethology
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1989

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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