The Bluestriped Snapper, Lutjanus kasmira (Forsskål, 1775), was intentionally introduced to the island of O‘ahu between 1955 and 1961. It quickly spread throughout the Hawaiian Islands and became highly abundant in reef slope and spur and groove habitats. Here, we investigated the distribution of L. kasmira on shallow and mesophotic reefs of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) using fish survey data collected from 2007 to 2016. L. kasmira was recorded at all islands or atolls of NWHI except for Gardner Pinnacles, Maro Reef, and Laysan Island—the middle region of the NWHI. It was most abundant at French Frigate Shoals and Nihoa at the southern end of the NWHI. On mesophotic reefs, L. kasmira was not observed at any locations north of French Frigate Shoals, except for one individual at Lisianski Island at an upper mesophotic depth. Small-bodied individuals were found more frequently at greater depths. L. kasmira was often observed along with Mulloidichthys vanicolensis (Valenciennes, 1831), Chromis acares Randall and Swerdloff, 1973, and Naso hexacanthus (Bleeker, 1855) on shallow-water reefs. The present study indicates the potential effects of habitat types and water temperature in the vertical and horizontal distribution of L. kasmira in the NWHI and the possibility of differential utilization of resources by adults and juveniles.
USA - Hawaii