oa African Zoology - The fish community of East Cape tidal pools and an assessment of the nursery function of this habitat

Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



Fish occurring in tidal pools in the lower balanoid zone near Port Elizabeth were examined by visual census and rotenone collections. Numerically, Clinidae constituted 28% of the community, Sparidae 23%, Gobiidae 17% and the Cheilodactylidae 12%, while eleven other families contributed to the remaining 20%. The 44 species recorded were classified as either residents (e.g. Clinidae or Gobiidae) or transients. The transient species were chiefly juvenile Sparidae, Cheilodactylidae and Mugilidae although numerous tropical vagrants also occurred in the summer months. Tidal pools, when compared with other coastal habitats, were found to be an important nursery area for some of the transient species, particularly Sparodon durbanensis, Diplodus cervinus hottentotus, Chirodactylus brachydactylus and Cheilodactylus fasciatus.

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