A deep nursery for juveniles of the zebra angelfish Genicanthus caudovittatus

Eran Brokovich, Shai Einbinder, Salit Kark, Nadav Shashar, Moshe Kiflawi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Juveniles of many coral reef fish species are thought to either follow the same bathymetric distribution patterns as the adults, or to occupy shallower waters. However, our knowledge base suffers a dearth of data from the deep reefs (>40 m). In a recent survey of the deep reefs of the northern Gulf of Aqaba (<65 m), we examined the bathymetric distribution of 26 diurnal zooplanktivorous species. In sharp contrast to the general trend known from the literature and from this research, the abundance of juvenile zebra angelfish, Genicanthus caudovittatus, peaked at deeper waters (60-65 m) compared with the adults (30 m). This suggests that the deeper reefs may serve as nursery grounds for the zebra angelfish. Peak juvenile abundance coincided with relatively low predator abundances. This raises the question, which factors constrain the bathymetric distribution of the remaining species. Our findings stress the potential importance of deep coral reef research for understanding the ecological patterns and processes that govern reef community structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Biology of Fishes
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2007


  • Bathymetric distribution
  • Deep coral reef
  • Fish distribution
  • Habitat partitioning
  • Technical diving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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