Biodiversity

Common coral reef fishes of the Netherlands Antilles

September 20, 2010, 4:27 pm

Introduction 

The Netherlands Antilles (or "Dutch Antilles") consists of five islands in two groups in the Caribbean Sea. The southern group of Curacao and Bonaire lie just north of the Venezuelan coast and the northern group, Saint Eustatius, Saba and Saint Maarten,  are located southeast of the Virgin Islands.  Over 490 species of reef fishes have been identified during REEF Fish Surveys in the Netherlands Antilles.

25 most common species in the Netherland Antilles

The following ranking is based on the results of 17,990 REEF Fish Surveys covering a bottom time of 22,729 hours and 2 minutes. (REEF Geographic Zone Report. June 1, 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 Netherlands Antilles. ''Reef Fish Identification'', New World Publications © 1994.

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

 

Species

% of surveys observed

Mean abundance category

 1. Blue tang 

 95.0

 few-many

 2. Stoplight parrotfish

 94.9

 few-many

 3. Brown chromis 

 94.5

 many-abundant

 4. Bicolor damselfish 

 94.4

 many-abundant

 5. Sergeant major 

 93.3

 many

 6. Foureye butterflyfish

 93.3

 many-abundant

 7. Bluehead

 92.7

 many

 8. French grunt 

 92.6

 few-many

 9. Yellow goatfish

 92.4

 many

 10. Trumpetfish

 92.0

 few

 11. Schoolmaster 

 89.0

 few-many

 12. Blackbar soldierfish

 89.0

 few-many

 13. Blue chromis

 88.7

 many

 14. Smooth trunkfish 

 88.6

 few

 15. Princess parrotfish

 88.2

 few-many

 16. Yellowhead wrasse

 87.4

 many

 17. Spanish hogfish  

 86.9

 few

 18. Queen parrotfish 

 86.7

 few-many

 19. Yellowtail snapper 

 86.7

 few-many

 20.  Yellowtail damselfish 

 86.5

 few-many

 21.  Graysby  

 86.3

 few-many

 22.  Bar jack

 86.3

 few

 23. Banded butterflyfish

 84.9

 few

 24. Fairy basslet 

 84.1

 many

 25.  Mahogany snapper 

 83.1

 few-many

Islands of the Netherlands Antilles

References and Further Reading

Glossary

Citation

McGinley, M. (2010). Common coral reef fishes of the Netherlands Antilles. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/151388

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