Variation in group hunting strategies by Cornetfish
on two Red Sea reefs
Peter J. Auster
Predation by piscivores can influence the structure of fish communities, directly by consuming prey and indirectly by inducing fear responses that modify prey behavior (Estes et al. 2011). How predators respond to changes in prey distribution and behavior is an important element for understanding the reciprocal relationships that define the dynamics of predator-prey interactions (Heithaus et al. 2009, Catano et al. 2016, Campanella et al. 2019). One common response of predators is to hunt in single and mixed species groups, using variable behavioral strategies to search, detect, and attack prey in diverse ecological settings (Auster et al. 2013, 2019).
Here I describe variations in group hunting strategies of bluespotted cornetfish Fistularia commersonii (Fistulariidae), elongate stalking predators, in relation to landscape context. Cornetfish are mesopredators, principally feeding on small fish, crustaceans, and squids (http://www.fishbase.org; accessed 20 March 2023). While these observations are ad hoc and qualitative in nature, they serve to illustrate the role that small-scale habitat variability can have on predator behavior and interactions with prey species.
Auster, P.J. (2023) Variation in group hunting strategies by Cornetfish on two Red Sea reefs.
Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation, 40, 70-73.
publication date: 8 October 2023