Biodiversity

Common coral reef fishes of the British Virgin Islands

September 20, 2010, 4:22 pm

Introduction 

The British Virgin Islands, a small island nation, is one of the Windward Islands of  the eastern Caribbean Sea. Over 310 species of reef fishes have been identified during REEF Fish Surveys in the British Virgin Islands.

25 most common species in the British Virgin Islands

The following ranking is based on the results of 2605 REEF Fish Surveys covering a bottom time of 2516 hours and 23 minutes. (REEF Geographic Zone Report,  May 28, 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, and 4.0 = abundant.

caption Bluehead—the most frequently observed reef fish in the British Virgin Islands. ''Reef Fish Identification'', New World Publications © 1994.

caption Brown Chromis—the reef fish with the highest mean adundance in the British Virgin Islands.  ''Reef Fish Identification'', New World Publications © 1994.

Species

 % of surveys observed

Mean abundance category

 1. Bluehead 

 97.7

 many

 2. Blue tang 

 97.1

 few-many

 3. Bicolor damselfish

 94.3

 many

 4. Brown chromis

 92.0

 many-abundant

 5. Blackbar soldierfish

 89.7

 many-abundant

 6. Stoplight parrotfish 

 88.0

 few

 7. Trumpetfish

 86.9

 few

 8. French grunt 

 86.9

 few-many

 9. Redband parrotfish

 86.3

 few-many

 10. Yellowhead wrasse 

 85.7

 few-many

 11. Ocean surgeonfish

 84.6

 few-many

 12. Spanish hogfish

 83.4

 few

 13. Threespot damselfish

 82.3

 few-many

 14. Princess parrotfish

 81.1

 few-many

 15. Sergeant major

 80.6

 few-many

 16. Sharpnose puffer

 80.0

 few

 17. Longspine squirrelfish

 78.3

 few

 18. Yellow goatfish  

 77.1

 few

 19. Blue chromis

 75.4

 many

 20.  Graysby

 74.9

 few

 21.  Masked goby   

 73.1

 many-abundant

 22.  Barred hamlet 

 72.0

 few

 23. Striped parrotfish

 71.4

 few-many

 24. Smooth trunkfish

 69.1

 single-few

 25.  Bridled goby

 66.9

 few-many

Islands of the British Virgin Islands

References and Further Reading

Glossary

Citation

McGinley, M. (2010). Common coral reef fishes of the British Virgin Islands. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/151383

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