Photo: Young Fish Return to "Home Reefs" to Settle Down



As larvae, vagabond butterfly fish float free and untended in the ocean. But a new study that chemically tagged the larvae for the first time shows that juveniles often return to the same reefs that their parents, like the adult seen here, inhabit.

The findings could have significant implications for marine reserves, which have long been established on the assumption that young fish born on healthy reefs would join and thus help maintain populations on damaged reefs nearby.

Photograph courtesy R. Patzner/Science


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