Biodiversity

Common coral reef fishes of St. Kitts

Content Cover Image

Bluehead—the most frequently observed reef fish in St. Kitts.  ''Reef Fish Identification'', New World Publications © 1994. (Image by By Lakshmi Sawitri, via Wikimedia Commons)

Introduction 

caption Bluehead—the most frequently observed reef fish in St. Kitts. ''Reef Fish Identification'', New World Publications © 1994. St. Kitts  is part of The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis (also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis), a federal two-island nation located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles,  in the West Indies. It is the smallest sovereign nation in the Americas, in both area and population.The capital city and headquarters of government for the federated state is on the larger island of Saint Kitts. The smaller state of Nevis lies about 2 miles (3 km) southeast of Saint Kitts, across a shallow channel called "The Narrows".  Over 240 species of reef fishes have been identified during REEF Fish Surveys in St. Kitts.

25 most common species in St. Kitts

caption Creole wrasse—the reef fish with the highest mean adundance in St. Kitts. ''Reef Fish Identification'', New World Publications © 1994. The following ranking is based on the results of 299  REEF Fish Surveys covering a bottom time of 319 hours and 11 minutes. (REEF Geographic Zone Report. June 4, 2009).  The species are ranked by the percentage of surveys in which a species was observed.  Abundance of fishes in REEF Fish Surveys are estimated using the following categories:

  1. - single =1 individual,
  2. - few = 2- 10 individuals,
  3. - many = 11-100 individuals, and
  4. - abundant > 100 individuals. 

The mean numeric abundance (ranging from 1 - 4) was calculated for each species..  The mean abundance category is determined as follows:

mean abundance    category
 0 - 1.49 =  single
 1.50 - 1.99 =  single-few
 2.0 - 2.49 =  few
 2.5 - 2.99 =  few-many
 3.0 - 3.49 =  many
 3.5 -3.99 =  many-abundant
 4.0 =  abundant

 

 

Species

% of surveys observed

Mean abundance category

 1. Bluehead

 84.6

 many

 2. Bicolor damselfish

 79.3

 many

 3. Bicolor damselfish

 77.6

 few-many

 4. French grunt  

 77.3

 few-many

 5. Spotted goatfish 

 76.3

 few

 6. Stoplight parrotfish

 75.9

 few

 7. Blue tang

 73.9

 few-many

 8. Ocean surgeonfish

 72.2

 few-many

 9. Trumpetfish 

 71.6

 single-few

 10. Brown chromis 

 71.6

 many

 11. Blackbar soldierfish

 70.2

 few-many

 12. Blue chromis

 70.2

 many

 13. Yellow goatfish

 69.9

 few-many

 14. Barred hamlet

 67.2

 few

 15. Yellowtail damselfish

 66.9

 few

 16. Yellowtail snapper

 66.2

 few-many

 17. Princess parrotfish 

 66.2

 few-many

 18. Redband parrotfish 

 62.5

 few-many

 19. Yellowhead wrasse

 62.5

 few

 20. Bar jack

 60.5

 few

 21.  Sharpnose puffer

 59.2

 few-many

 22.  Foureye butterflyfish

 56.2

 few

 23. Graysby 

 55.5

 few

 24. Smooth trunkfish

 49.8

 single-few

 25.  Harlequin bass

 49.5

 few


 

References and Further Reading

Glossary

Citation

McGinley, M. (2014). Common coral reef fishes of St. Kitts. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/151369

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