Alternate Title

The Pelagic - Sargassum Ichthyofauna of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico


A total of 2857 fishes comprising 15 families and 40 species was collected at 62 localities in the eastern Gulf of Mexico between 1971 and 1976. The fauna was dominated by the Carangidae, Balistidae, and Syngnathidae. Monacanthus hispidus was the most abundant species and comprised 84.5% of the total fauna. Species diversity (H') was variable within the Gulf and low in comparison with the western Atlantic Sargassum - associated ichthyofauna. "Index of Affinity" was high within the Gulf due to the abundance of M. hispidus. Perhaps conditions associated with community dispersal, for which M. hispidus is better adapted, permit this species to dominate this community. Additionally, species diversity differences may be due to substrate area or "clumpsize".