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Keywords:

  • appearance patterns;
  • drifting sea weeds;
  • fish fauna;
  • juveniles;
  • young fish

ABSTRACT:  From 2002 to 2006, the fish fauna associated with sea weeds drifting in the Chikuzen Sea, northern Kyushu, Japan, was examined. The total numbers of species and individuals collected were 51 and 5475, respectively. The five dominant species, accounting for approximately 80% of the total individuals, were Rudarius ercodes, Stephanolepis cirrhifer, Petroscirtes breviceps, Sebastes thompsoni and Paramonacanthus japonicus. The number of species and individuals increased significantly with the increase in water temperature, reaching maxima during early summer and autumn, respectively. Combining the present and previous data (∼50 years ago), the appearance patterns of the fishes associated with drifting sea weed were classified into the following four types: (i) long periods (continuously for 3 months or more) and autumn (LA); (ii) spring (SP); (iii) summer (SU); and (iv) rare (R). In more than half of the species, there were no changes in the appearance patterns between the present and previous studies. However, in the present study, the appearance patterns of several species changed from LA to R (Oplegnathus punctatus and Kyphosus cinerascens) and from R to LA and SU (Abudefduf vaigiensis and Hyperoglyphe japonica, respectively).