Recruitment to the reef

Explanations for phase of moon associated with greatest settlement of fish larvae. Sponaugle & Cowan 1996 Mar Ecol Progr Ser 133: 13.

Full. Yes, but actually a few days after full moon when its brightness has begun to diminish. At this time there is some light for the larvae to recognise bottom features during settlement, but not enough light for visual predators to be maximally effective. At precisely full moon there is more light for predators find and eat the larval fishes. Good thinking if you got this correct the first time!

Neap (waning moon). No. We already know that neap tides do not promote larval settlement, but see the explanation above.

New. No. This would have been an obvious first choice because of the safety of darkness and the favourable spring tides associated with this moon phase, but the larval fishes require some light to recognise bottom features when they settle.

Neap (waxing moon). No. We already know that neap tides are not favourable for larval settlement.