Gardening behaviour of Sicydium punctatum (Gobioidei: Sicydiinae): in vitro experiments in the context of chlordecone pollution in Guadeloupe Island rivers

Barbeyron C., Lefrançois E., Monti D., Keith P., Lord C.

Published date: June 2017
Volume: 41
Number: 2
Pagination: 085-092
Publisher: Société Française d'Ichtyologie
doi: https://doi.org/10.26028/cybium/2017-412-001
Abstract

To fight the banana weevil, organochlorine insecticide was used in Guadeloupe, leading to a contamination of the rivers by chlordecone, for which the molecules are long lasting and persist in the environment although its use was banned in the 90s. In the rivers, Sicydiinae gobies of the genus Sicydium represent key species of the ecosystem. They are herbivorous and feed on the epilithic biofilm by scraping it off the rocks. We undertook in vitro experiments in order to obtain preliminary results on the effect of the pollutant on the behaviour of Sicydium punctatum Perugia, 1896, and on its food source. It seems that the pollutant has no effect on the social behaviour of this species. However, we noted that in polluted conditions, the biofilm composition is altered, depriving S. punctatum of its favoured diatom species, which S. punctatum usually “grows” by having a gardening behaviour.

Keywords: Chlordecone - Diatom - Gardening behaviour - Guadeloupe - Sicydiinae - Sicydium punctatum
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