MEPS 192:267-275 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/meps192267

Developmental changes of the light intensity threshold for school formation in the striped jack Pseudocaranx dentex

T. Miyazaki1,*, S. Shiozawa2, T. Kogane2, R. Masuda1,**, K. Maruyama2, K. Tsukamoto1

1Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Minamidai, Nakano, Tokyo 164-0014, Japan
2Goto Station, Japan Sea-Farming Association, Arakawa, Tamanoura, Minamimatsura, Nagasaki 853-0501, Japan
Present addresses:*National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Isozaki, Hitach-inaka, Ibaraki 311-1202, Japan. E-mail:
**The Oceanic Institute, Waimanalo, Hawaii 96795-1820, USA

ABSTRACT: Light intensity thresholds for school formation were examined in 3 stages (20, 65, and 120 mm) of striped jack Pseudocaranx dentex juveniles with behavioural and histological approaches. Behaviour under a light intensity of 300 to 10-5 lx was recorded using a video camera, and schooling behaviour, swimming speed, and nearest neighbour distance were analyzed. The retina of fish adapted to each light intensity was histologically examined. The light intensity threshold for schooling behaviour in 20 and 65 mm fish was 5 x 10-2 lx, while that of 120 mm fish was 5 x 10-4 lx. The adaptation ratio, defined as the percentage of cone cell movement, ranged from 30 to 80%, corresponding with 10-3 to 1 lx of light intensity in 120 mm fish, while 20 mm fish showed a much narrower range of adaptation ratio, i.e. from 50 to 70%. Visual acuity increased exponentially with fish total length from 20 to 120 mm, corresponding with the increase of eye diameter. The higher range of adaptation ratio in 120 mm fish should enable them to recognize other fish even under low light intensity conditions and make their light intensity threshold for schooling lower than that of smaller fish. Establishment of behavioural and histological adaptability to lower light intensity should have relevance to the habitat shift that occurs in this juvenile stage from bright shallow reef pelagic waters to the offshore dark deeper area.

KEY WORDS: Pseudocaranx dentex · Carangidae · Schooling behaviour · Light intensity threshold · Visual acuity · Behavioural ontogeny · Habitat shift

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