Mimicry, colour forms and spectral sensitivity of the bluestriped fangblenny, Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos

Cheney, Karen L., Skogh, Charlotta, Hart, Nathan S. and Marshall, N. Justin (2009) Mimicry, colour forms and spectral sensitivity of the bluestriped fangblenny, Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 276 1662: 1565-1573. doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.1819


Author Cheney, Karen L.
Skogh, Charlotta
Hart, Nathan S.
Marshall, N. Justin
Title Mimicry, colour forms and spectral sensitivity of the bluestriped fangblenny, Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos
Formatted title
Mimicry, colour forms and spectral sensitivity of the bluestriped fangblenny, Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos
Journal name Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-8452
Publication date 2009-05-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rspb.2008.1819
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 276
Issue 1662
Start page 1565
End page 1573
Total pages 9
Editor Hassell, M.P.
Place of publication London
Publisher Royal Society of London
Language eng
Subject C1
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
060201 Behavioural Ecology
Abstract Animals change their body coloration for a variety of purposes including communication, thermoregulation and crypsis. The cues that trigger adaptive colour change are often unclear, and the role of colour vision remains largely untested. Here, we investigated the bluestriped fangblenny (Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos), an aggressive mimic that changes its body coloration to impersonate a variety of coral reef fishes. In this field, we determined the fish species that the fangblenny associated with and measured the spectral reflectance of mimics and their models. We measured the spectral absorbance characteristics of the retinal photoreceptor visual pigments in the bluestriped fangblenny using microspectrophotometry and found it to have rod photoreceptors (lambda(max) 498 nm), single cones (449 nm) and double cones (561 nm principal member; 520 nm accessory member). Using theoretical vision models, fangblennies could discriminate between the colours they adopted and the colours of the fish they associated with. Potential signal receivers (Abudefduf abdominalis and Ctenochaetus strigosus) perceived colours of most mimics to closely resemble fishes they associated with. However, fishes with ultraviolet-sensitive visual pigments were better at discriminating between mimics and models. Therefore, colour vision could be used by fangblennies when initiating colour change enabling them to accurately resemble fishes they associate with and to avoid detection by signal receivers.
Formatted abstract
Animals change their body coloration for a variety of purposes including communication, thermoregulation and crypsis. The cues that trigger adaptive colour change are often unclear, and the role of colour vision remains largely untested. Here, we investigated the bluestriped fangblenny (Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos), an aggressive mimic that changes its body coloration to impersonate a variety of coral reef fishes. In this field, we determined the fish species that the fangblenny associated with and measured the spectral reflectance of mimics and their models. We measured the spectral absorbance characteristics of the retinal photoreceptor visual pigments in the bluestriped fangblenny using microspectrophotometry and found it to have rod photoreceptors (λmax 498 nm), single cones (449 nm) and double cones (561 nm principal member; 520 nm accessory member). Using theoretical vision models, fangblennies could discriminate between the colours they adopted and the colours of the fish they associated with. Potential signal receivers (Abudefduf abdominalis and Ctenochaetus strigosus) perceived colours of most mimics to closely resemble fishes they associated with. However, fishes with ultraviolet-sensitive visual pigments were better at discriminating between mimics and models. Therefore, colour vision could be used by fangblennies when initiating colour change enabling them to accurately resemble fishes they associate with and to avoid detection by signal receivers.
Keyword facultative mimicry
microspectrophotometry
colour vision
colour change
spectral reflectance
coral reef fish
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 15 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 19 Apr 2009, 22:33:38 EST by Shirley Rey on behalf of School of Biological Sciences