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A group of bluehead wrasse (Thalassoma bifasciatum) shoal above a reef at St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

A group of bluehead wrasse (Thalassoma bifasciatum) shoal (group together) above a reef at St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Shoaling is a common anti-predator behavior for reef fishes such as the bluehead wrasse. Many reef fish species form large, very dense shoals as juveniles. A recent study found that there is safety in numbers at small spatial scales: solitary bluehead wrasse had higher mortality rates than conspecifics in groups. The same study also found that the inverse is true for wrasse morality when measured at larger spatial scales. This photograph originally appeared on the cover of Ecology (88:12) in December of 2007.
Cumulative Rating: This resource has a 2 star rating (based on 1 response)
Primary or BEN resource type
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords Thalassoma bifasciatum, bluehead wrasse, shoal, aggregate, social, behavior, fish, aquatic, marine, coral reef, anti-predator, Virgin Islands, St. Croix
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Description This photograph could be used to illustrate fish, coral reef species, social behavior, anti-predator behavior, or fish shoaling.
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation University of California, Davis
Primary Author email
Rights Copyright 2007 by the Ecological Society of America.
Date Of Record Submission 2008-04-08

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