Feeding Ecology And Diet

Herbivorous. Feeds upon benthic algae, blue-green algae, and diatoms. Reported to cause ciguatera poisoning because of their diet. Ciguatera poisoning is caused by the cumulative deposition of a class of polyether toxins within the tissues of fishes. The toxins are produced by certain microscopic dinoflagellate organisms of the genus Gambierdiscus, which are transmitted by the food chain, increasing in intensity by a factor of ten in each successive level within the chain. The striped bristletooth ingests these organisms while feeding upon algae. If a contaminated fish is consumed by man, the concentrated poison contained within its tissues causes neurological damage that can be fatal.

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