The Behavioral Physiology of Labroid Fishes.
WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION MA DEPT OF APPLIED OCEAN PHYSICS AND ENGINEERING
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The cunner Tautogolabrus adspersus is one of two temperate-dwelling Western North Atlantic labrid fishes, and is one of the few fishes that remain in New England waters throughout the year. Observations indicate that cunner enter behavioral torpor in winter. The present study showed that cunner undergo physiological torpor, or hibernation, based on low oxygen consumption rates, contributing to a large Q10 value of 8.5. This establishes cunner as one of the few marine species that hibernate. Cunner withstood four months of starvation at 4 deg C. Glycogen, lipid, and protein in the liver decreased during this period, but remained unchanged in whole-body samples. Regression analysis predicts that cunner can live at least 6 months on their glycogen and lipid reserves, and 9 months based on their protein reserves. Cunner maintained a diel cycle in oxygen consumption rates low at night, high during the day during periods of warm temperature, but the cycle approximated 48 hours at temperatures generally below 8 deg C. Two tropical labroids, Thalassoma bifasciatum and Scarus iserti, also had a diel cycle in metabolic rate. The ability of labrids to undergo marked diel decreases in metabolic rate may have predisposed them to becoming established in temperate waters by surviving cold temperatures through hibernation.... Physiology, Fish, Hibernation.