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Salinity tolerance of the African Jewelfish Hemichromis letourneuxi, a non-native cichlid in South Florida (USA)

Copeia

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Abstract

The African Jewelfish (Cichlidae: Hemichromis letourneuxi) is a predatory, non-native fish that has recently (since 2000) begun to expand its geographic range across south Florida. The salinity tolerance of H. letourneuxi was unknown, and thus it was unclear whether the species could use estuarine or coastal environments. The response of H. letourneuxi to chronic change in salinity was evaluated here by exposing fish to progressively increasing salinities (0–80 ppt). Fish were held at target salinities for a minimum of 30 days. The species showed excellent survival from 0–50 ppt. At 60 ppt, only 25% of the fish survived, and mean estimated survival time was 12 days. Above 60 ppt, mortality was 100%. Fish grew equally well from 0–50 ppt. In another experiment, fish were transferred directly from freshwater to various salinities from 5–35 ppt (seawater) and held for seven days, after which survivors were returned to freshwater. All fish transferred directly from freshwater to salinities up to 20 ppt survived; only 56% survived when transferred from freshwater to 25 ppt, and none survived transfer above 25 ppt. Experimental results indicated that H. letourneuxi can persist easily in salinities prevalent in coastal environments, even during periods of hypersalinity common in south Florida estuaries. Salinity will not restrict its dispersal by coastal pathways.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Salinity tolerance of the African Jewelfish Hemichromis letourneuxi, a non-native cichlid in South Florida (USA)
Series title:
Copeia
Volume
2010
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Publisher:
The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Publisher location:
Lawrence, KS
Contributing office(s):
Southeast Ecological Science Center, Everglades National Park Field Station
Description:
6 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Copeia
First page:
475
Last page:
480
Country:
United States
State:
Florida