Reproductive biology

Little is known about the reproductive biology of the Beryciformes. No observations or studies have shown her-

Blotcheye soldierfish (Myripristus berndti) school in Hawaii. (Photo by Andrew G. Wood/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

maphroditism or sex reversal among the species; they are born male or female and remain that way throughout their lives. Scientists believe that all beryciform fishes have external fertilization.

More is known about the reproduction in squirrelfishes, because these fishes are common in reefs where they are frequently observed by divers. During mating in the Hawaiian squirrelfish (Sargocentron xantherythrum), a male and female grunt and click, align themselves side by side, and place their tails together while fanning out their heads to the left and right.

The mating of the red soldierfish (Myripristis murdjan) in the Holocentridae, has also been observed. The male and female courtship ritual involves an inward-spiraling swimming pattern between the two, followed by a quick, adjacent rise through the water when both eggs and sperm are ejected for fertilization.

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