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Marine Biodiversity Records, page 1 of 3. # Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 2009 doi:10.1017/S1755267209990637; Vol. 2; e145; 2009 Published online

The occurrence of Azores Chromis, Chromis limbata in the south-western Atlantic jonas rodrigues leite1, a’thila andrade bertoncini2, leonardo bueno3, felippe daros3, johnatas alves4 and mauri’cio hostim-silva5 1 Universidade Federal do Parana´, PPG-CB, Zoologia, CxP. 19020, Curitiba, Parana´, Brazil, 2Universidade Federal de Sa˜o Carlos, PPGERN, CxP. 676 Sa˜o Carlos, SP 13.565-905, Brazil, 3Centro de Estudos do Mar, UFPR, PGSISCO, CxP. 50002 Pontal do Sul, Parana´, Brazil, 4Projeto Meros do Brasil, Sa˜o Francisco do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil, 5Universidade Federal do Espı´rito Santo, DCSBA, CEUNES, R. Humberto de Almeida Franklin, 257 Sa˜o Mateus, ES 29.933-415, Brazil

The first occurrence for Azores Chromis in the south-western Atlantic is given with photographic records and meristics.

Keywords: Azores Chromis, Chromis limbata, first occurrence Submitted 24 February 2009; accepted 3 July 2009

Chromis limbata (Valenciennes, 1833), the Azores Chromis, is a species restricted to the Macaronesian Islands (Azores, Madeira and Canaries) and the western coast of Africa (between Senegal and Congo, Wood, 1977; Edwards, 1986; Rocha et al., 2008). The Cape Verde Islands bear an endemic and a tropical amphi-atlantic Chromis species (Edwards, 1986). Chromis chromis (Linnaeus, 1758), the most likely sister species of C. limbata (Wood, 1977; Edwards, 1986; Rocha et al., 2008) is found in the Mediterranean and adjacent Atlantic. Chromis limbata inhabits rocky areas from 3 to 50 m, where it forms aggregations in midwater (Brito et al., 2002). During the summer, nesting males defend territories and take care of the eggs (Figure 1) that are attached to the substratum (Mapstone & Wood, 1975). In the case of C. chromis, after a pelagic larval phase of 18– 19 days (Ravento´s & Macpherson, 2001) fish settle to adult grounds. It is likely that C. limbata have similar life history parameters. Regarding relationships among Chromis species, Rocha et al. (2008) support that C. multilineata (Guichenot, 1853) and C. atrilobata Gill, 1862 are sister species. On the other hand Domingues et al. (2008) support that C. limbata is the Atlantic sister of C. chromis (the Mediterranean species). Vagrant individuals of the Azores Chromis were detected on the southern coast of Brazil. In this paper, the first photographic record for this species in the south-western Atlantic is given (Figure 2). The photograph was taken at Campeche Island, located 1.5 km on the east coast of Santa Catarina Island, South Brazil (278410 4400 S 488270 5300 W). The presence of C. limbata in the south-western Atlantic extends the known range of the species by almost 6400 km, being the 6th Chromis species to be registered in Brazil, together with Chromis enchrysura Jordan & Gilbert, 1882, Chromis flavicauda (Gu¨nther, 1880), Chromis jubauna Moura, 1995,

Corresponding author: J.R. Leite Email:

Chromis multilineata (Guichenot, 1853) and Chromis scotti Emery, 1968. In 2008 two individuals of 8 cm standard length (SL) were repeatedly observed at Campeche Island during March and April. In May a single individual was encountered and in June none was sighted. All encounters occurred in the same boulder area of 12 m2 suggesting a great site fidelity and possibly small home range. Both specimens were observed feeding together with a single Chromis multilineata; so far the only Chromis species with the rare Chromis jubauna Moura, 1995, observed in South Brazil. The area has been monitored monthly by underwater visual censuses since July 2007. In other opportunities, December 2008 and March 2009, three to five individuals were observed at the Xavier Island (278360 3500 S 488230 0800 W) located northward of Campeche Island, 3 km from the east coast of Santa Catarina Island. The specimens from Xavier Island were larger than the ones observed at Campeche Island and were dispersed near the bottom at 8 m depth. One specimen was collected and deposited at the Ichthyological Collection of the Museu de Historia Natural Capa˜o da Imbuia, reference no. 12327. Wirtz et al. (2008) report that C. limbata has been previously confused with Chromis chromis (Linnaeus, 1758), e.g. by Maul (1949), Nunes (1974), and by Lloris & Rucabado in Que´ro et al. (1990: 846 – 847), who included a (erroneous) record of the species from Madeira by Fowler (1936). See Domingues et al. (2005) for a genetic study of eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Chromis species. The main diagnostic meristic counts and measurements of the collected specimen are given in millimetres: 126 mm total length; 92 mm standard length; dorsal fin with 13 rays and 11 soft rays; anal fin with two rays and 11 soft rays; pelvic fin with one ray and five soft rays; pectoral fin with 17 soft rays; 22 scales in the lateral line. Although dominant average ocean current circulation reaches the north-eastern Atlantic islands from the west, the marine littoral fauna and flora of the temperate Macaronesia (Azores, Madeira, and Canaries) share affinities with the eastern coasts of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean 1


jonas rodrigues leite et al.

Fig. 1. A nesting male of Chromis limbata taking care of the eggs that are attached to a shallow boulder at Terceira Island, Azores (Portugal). ´ thila Bertoncini. Photograph by A

by North Atlantic species, in spite of examples like Acanthurus monroviae (Acanthuridae) in Brazil (248150 S 468100 W) (Luiz-Junior et al., 2004). Reef fish generally have a bipartite life cycle with a dispersive larval phase (Sale, 1991). Although the transport and survival of the fish as egg and/or larvae could be a plausible explanation, the majority of Pomacentridae have a short larval period, varying from three to eleven days, when compared with the larval phase of the Acanthuridae or Pomacanthidae which can last more than a month (Leis, 1991). On the other hand, although with little probability, the introduction hypothesis by ships or oil rigs should not be excluded when considering Santa Catarina (see Gerhardinger et al., 2006). Obviously the presence of a dozen Azores Chromis does not necessarily imply the establishment of a previously unrecorded viable population on the Brazilian coast. However, this occurrence is a remarkable example of the importance of long distance dispersion in the potential colonization of species from isolated oceanic islands over evolutionary time, and future research should address their establishment, as well as its occurrences along Brazilian coastal islands.

REFERENCES Brito A., Pascual P.J., Falco´n J.M., Sancho A. and Gonza´lez G. (2002) Peces de las Islas Canarias. Cata´logo comentado e ilustrado. La Laguna: Francisco Lemus Editor. Domingues V.S., Bucciarelli G., Almada V.C. and Bernardi G. (2005) Historical colonization and demography of the Mediterranean damselfish, Chromis chromis. Molecular Ecology 14, 4051–4063.

Fig. 2. Chromis limbata feeding on plankton in midwater close to a boulder commonly covered by calcareous algae at Campeche Island, Santa Catarina ´ thila Bertoncini. (South Brazil). Photograph by A

(Prud’homme Van Reine, 1988; Weerdt, 1989; Lloris et al., 1991; Wirtz & Martins, 1993). Migration between the Azores, Madeira, and the Canaries showed an evident prevailing north-west trend (Domingues et al., 2006), as western Africa and the Macaronesian Islands have been the main source of eggs and larvae transported by several eddies and having small islets and shallow seamounts as ‘stepping-stones’ for the dispersal of warm water organisms to the Azores, Santos et al. (1995). Fluctuations in the effectiveness of the soft biogeographical barriers in the Atlantic Ocean, such as the Benguela Current, Mid-Atlantic and Amazon Barriers, may provide a mechanism for much of the recent faunal exchange and diversification of reef fish in the Atlantic (Floeter et al., 2007). Olavo et al. (2007) support the hypothesis of a reef fish dispersal corridor in deep waters, along the continental South American edge, connecting the province of Brazil with the north-western Atlantic one. Floeter et al. (2007) suggested that the Mid-Atlantic Barrier seems quite permeable in terms of the relationship between Brazil and the Gulf of Guinea (Brazilian species are sisters to East Atlantic ones in 67% of the cases). The record of C. limbata in South Brazil corroborates the hypothesis that the Mid-Atlantic Barrier can also be occasionally breached

Domingues V.S., Bucciarelli G., Almada V.C. and Bernardi G. (2008) Historical colonization and demography of the Mediterranean damselfish, Chromis chromis. Molecular Ecology 14, 4051–4063. Domingues V.S., Santos R.S., Brito A. and Almada V.C. (2006) Historical population dynamics and demography of the eastern Atlantic pomacentrid Chromis limbata (Valenciennes, 1833). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40, 139–147. Edwards A. (1986) A new damselfish, Chromis lubbocki (Teleostei: Pomacentridae) from the Cape Verde Archipelago, with notes on other Eastern Atlantic pomacentrids. Zoologische Mededelingen 60(12), 181 –207. Floeter S.R., Rocha L.A., Robertson D.R., Joyeux J.C., Smith-Vaniz W.F., Wirtz P., Edwards A.J., Barreiros J.P., Ferreira C.E.L., Gasparini J.L., Brito A., Falcon J.M., Bowen B.W. and Bernardi G. (2007) Atlantic reef fish biogeography and evolution. Journal of Biogeography 35, 22–47. Fowler H.W. (1936) The marine fishes of West Africa based on the collection of the American Museum Congo Expedition, 1909–1915. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 70, 1&2, Part 1, 1 –605; Part 2, 607 –1493. Gerhardinger L.C., Freitas M.O., Bertoncni A.A. and Rangel C.A. (2006) Omobranchus punctatus (Teleostei: Blenniidae), an exotic blenny in the Southwestern Atlantic. Biological Invasions 8, 941–946. Leis J.M. (1991) The pelagic stage of reef fishes: larval biology of coral reef fishes. In Sale P.F. (ed.) The ecology of fishes on coral reefs. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, pp. 183–230. Lloris D., Rucabado J. and Figueroa H. (1991) Biogeography of the Macronesian ichthyofauna (the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde and the African enclave). Boletim do Museu Municipal do Funchal 43, 191–241.

chromis limbata in the south-western atlantic

Luiz-Junior O., Floeter S.R., Gasparini J.L., Ferreira C.E.L. and Wirtz P. (2004) The occurrence of Acanthurus monroviae (Perciformes: Acanthuridae) in the south-western Atlantic, with comments on other eastern Atlantic reef fishes occurring in Brazil. Journal of Fish Biology 65, 1173 – 1179. Mapstone G.M. and Wood E.M. (1975) The ethology of Abudefduf luridus and Chromis chromis (Pisces, Pomacentridae) form the Azores. Journal of Zoology 175, 179–199. Maul G.E. (1949) Lista sistema´tica dos peixes assinalados nos mares da Madeira e ´ındice alfabe´tico. In Noronha A.C. and Sarmento A.A. (eds) Vertebrados da Madeira. Vol. 2. Peixes. Junta Geral do Distrito Auto´nomo do Funchal, pp. 135–159. Nunes A.A. (1974) Peixes da Madeira. Junta Geral do Distrito Auto´nomo do Funchal, 15(2a) p. 284. Olavo G., Costa P.A.S. and Martins A.G. (2007) Estrutura de comunidades de peixes recifais na plataforma externa e talude superior da costa central brasileira: diversidade e distribuic¸a˜o batime´trica. In Costa P.A.S. et al. (eds) Biodiversidade da fauna marinha profunda na costa central brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: Museu Nacional, pp. 15–43 (S.n.24). Prud’homme Van Reine W.F. (1988) Phytogeography of seaweeds of the Azores. Helgola¨nder Meeresunters 42, 165–185. Que´ro J.C., Hureau J.C., Karrer C., Post A. and Saldanha L. (1990) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic. 3 Volumes. Lisbon. Ravento´s N. and Macpherson E. (2001) Planktonic larval duration and settlement marks on the otoliths of Mediterranean littoral fishes. Marine Biology 138, 1115–1120. Rocha L.A., Rocha C.R., Robertson D.R. and Bowen B.W. (2008) Comparative phylogeography of Atlantic reef fishes indicates both origin and accumulation of diversity in the Caribbean. Evolutionary Biology 8, 157.

Sale P.F. (1991) Reef fish communities: open non-equilibrium systems. In Sale P.F. (ed.) The ecology of fishes on coral reefs. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, pp. 564–598. Santos R.S., Hawkins S., Monteiro L.R., Alves M. and Isidro E.J. (1995) Marine research, resources and conservation in the Azores. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 5, 311–354. Weerdt H.W. (1989) Phylogeny and vicariance biogeography of North Atlantic Chalinidae (Haplosclerida, Demonspongiae). Beaufortia 39, 55–88. Wirtz P., Fricke R. and Biscoito M.J. (2008) The coastal fishes of Madeira Island—new records and an annotated check-list. Zootaxa 1715, 1–26. Wirtz P. and Martins H.R. (1993) Notes on some rare and little known marine invertebrates from the Azores, with a discussion on the zoogeography of the region. Arquipe´lago—Life and Earth Sciences A 11, 55–63. and Wood E.M. (1977) A review of damselfishes (Pisces: Pomacentridae) of the genus Chromis from the central and eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Journal of Fish Biology 10, 331–345.

Correspondence should be addressed to: J.R. Leite Universidade Federal do Parana´ PPG-CB Zoologia CxP. 19020 Curitiba Parana´, Brazil email:


The occurrence of Azores Chromis, Chromis limbata in the south-western Atlantic  

The first occurrence for Azores Chromis in the south-western Atlantic is given with photographic records and meristics.

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