Ecology and biology of the banded wrasse, Notolabrus fucicola (Pisces: Labridae) around Kaikoura, New Zealand.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMasters of Science
Notolabrus fucico/a, a large common labrid inhabiting shallow waters around New Zealand and Southern Australia, were collected monthly (Dec 1996 to Feb 1998) around Kaikoura. They were found to be pelagic synchronous spawners and followed the typical labrid spring-summer seasonal pattern of reproduction (July to December). Compared to other New Zealand labrids that are protogynous hermaphrodites, N. fucico/a was found to be a secondary gonochorist, where individuals change sex before maturation. Although two colour phases are present, they are a monochromatic species with males and females found in all size classes and colour phases (a ratio of females to males 1.6: 1 ). Sexual maturity is attained between 2 - 3 years old and they can live upwards of 25 years. There was no significant difference in numbers across time or depth for N. fucicola but a significant difference was recorded for size with depth. N. fucicola is a generalist predator with seasonal variations in prey items. There were size specific changes in the diet from soft to hard-bodied prey. Seasonal variations were also recorded in gut fullness and condition. They are a territorial species that are likely to defend areas for food or shelter, but not spawning.