Interactions with Other Marine Life

        Being reef associated, bandit angelfish are associated with thousands of organisms Parrot Fish - Submitted by Nhobgoodon a daily basis.  These interactions can impact the bandit angelfish directly and indirectly, as well as have a non-existent relationship with them.  Some of the typical interactions are described below.Queen Angelfish - Taken by Mark Junge


        As mentioned on the nutrition page, sponges are one of this species most abundant and sought out prey organisms.  Aside from this, sponges can have negative effects on the angelfish themselves, as well as on the ecosystem the bandit lives in.  When associated with sponges, certain microbes have the ability to change the entire ecosystem.  This happens when the microbe affects the DNA of the sponge, changing its phenotype, ultimately making it secrete toxins.  These toxins actually kill off spots in the surrounding coral reefs, allowing the sponge to take over the deceased region.

        Somewhat similar, a protist called a dinoflagellate in the genus of Gambierdiscus can create immune pathologies linking all the way up the food chain to humans!  This is Algaebecause of herbivorous or omnivorous fish, like the bandit angelfish, that consume algae that are infected with a toxin called ciguatoxin.  This toxin is very potent and moves between organisms with little disruption.  The consumption of the toxic algae can be due to directly consuming the algae or consuming an organism, such as a sponge, that has an existent algal partner that is infected.   These herbivorous fish are then consumed by larger predators, often commercial fish, and ultimately consumed by humans.  The reason this toxin is able to converge from each organism to the next is because it is fat-soluble, meaning it is easily transferred from organism to organism and actually enhanced throughout the food chain.  Common effects of ciguatoxin are diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, anxiety and tingling in the extremities caused by disruptive nerve function.

         Grouper - Taken by Adriane Pingstone

        The reef is also associated with two different types of fish.  One type consists of fish similar to the bandit angelfish that feed on organisms on the reef and stay very close Barracuda - Taken by Mark Jungeto the reef.  These fish are often extremely colorful and very small.  The other type of fish is the predatory types that inhabit the waters above the reefs, preying on the smaller fish down below.  Common reef fish are butterfly fish, other species of angelfish, parrotfish, and many other small fish.  Others canGray Reef Shark - Taken by Albert Kok include lionfish, blowfish and bullet fish.  These fish often have a similar diet, consisting of smaller organisms within the reef.  However, their predators share a similar diet as well – them.  Common reef predators are barracuda, grouper and certain species of shark.

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