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Aquatic Biology

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AB 24:219-226 (2016)  -  DOI:

Density, size, biomass, and diet of lionfish in Guanahacabibes National Park, western Cuba

Dorka Cobián Rojas1, Pedro Chevalier Monteagudo2, Juan J. Schmitter-Soto3,*, Raúl Igor Corrada Wong2, Héctor Salvat Torres4, Erlán Cabrera Sansón4, Alain García Rodríguez5, Alexis Fernández Osorio2, Leonardo Espinosa Pantoja6, Delmis Cabrera Guerra2, Laura María Pantoja Echevaria2, Hansel Caballero Aragón2, Susana Perera Valderrama7

1Parque Nacional Guanahacabibes, Centro de Investigaciones y Servicios Ambientales, Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Medio Ambiente, La Bajada, 22100 Pinar del Río, Cuba
2Acuario Nacional de Cuba, Calle 1ª #6002, 11300 Playa, Havana, Cuba
3El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Av. Centenario km 5.5, 77014 Chetumal, Mexico
4Formerly at Instituto de Oceanología, Ave. 1a #18406, CP 11600 Havana, Cu
5Instituto de Oceanología, Ave. 1ª #18406. CP 11600 Havana, Cuba
6Parque Nacional Cayos de San Felipe, 20100 La Coloma, Pinar del Río, Cuba
7Centro Nacional de Áreas Protegidas, Calle 18A #4114, 11300 Miramar, Playa, Havana, Cuba
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The Indo-Pacific lionfish Pterois volitans is an invasive species that was first recorded in the Guanahacabibes National Park (GNP), a marine protected area in western Cuba, in 2009. In order to determine the invasion progression of this species, we studied lionfish abundance, size, and diet at 6 sites in the GNP between 2010 and 2014. The species’ density, biomass, and length increased over this period, probably due to the abundance of food and shelter in the GNP. Analysis of stomach contents indicated that lionfish fed primarily on fish and crustaceans; main prey were teleosts, predominantly Gobiidae, Pomacentridae, Mullidae, Labridae, Scaridae, and Grammatidae. This example of a rapid increase in an unmanaged population at the onset of invasion provides information that can be used to design a management program targeting lionfish.

KEY WORDS: Invasive species · Marine protected area · Reef habitat · Fish · Scorpaenidae · Pterois volitans

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Cite this article as: Rojas DC, Chevalier Monteagudo P, Schmitter-Soto JJ, Corrada Wong RI and others (2016) Density, size, biomass, and diet of lionfish in Guanahacabibes National Park, western Cuba. Aquat Biol 24:219-226.

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