Reproductive biology

Almost all members of this suborder spawn pelagic eggs. The exceptions appear to be the scats, which spawn demersal eggs and engage in parental care, and some of the rabbit-fishes, which spawn eggs that sink to the bottom. Mating strategies vary within and between families. Courtship and spawning are accomplished in pairs, in pairs within spawning aggregations, or in groups of varying sizes at spawning aggregation sites. Thus, spadefishes, or batfishes, spawn in pairs and possibly in aggregations. Scats spawn demersal eggs, and at least one species practices parental care. Rabbitfishes of the subgenus Lo form relatively long-term monogamous pairs. Others in the family, however, spawn in aggregations, in either short-term pairs or groups. Rabbitfishes have been spawned in captivity, and some species are now important in mariculture. Louvars probably spawn in aggregations in the

The unusual shape, coloration, and movement of the pinnate batfish (Platax pinnatus) probably serve to mimic a toxic flatworm. This is a juvenile batfish swimming near Ambon, Indonesia. (Photo by David Hall/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

1. Yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens); 2. Striped bristletooth (Ctenochaetus striatus); 3. Yellowspotted sawtail (Prionurus maculatus); 4. Orangespine unicornfish (Naso lituratus); 5. Palette tang (Paracanthurus hepatus); 6. Lined surgeonfish (Acanthurus lineatus). (Illustration by Joseph E. Trumpey)

1. Louvar (Luvarus imperials); 2. Foxface rabbitfish (Siganus vulpinus); 3. Intermediate stage of longfin spadefish (Platax teira); 4. Moorish idol (Zanclus cornutus); 5. Spotted scat (Scatophagus argus). (Illustration by Joseph E. Trumpey)

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