Cleaner gobies evolve advertising stripes of higher contrast

Lettieri, L, Cheney, K.L, Mazel, CH, Boothe, D, Marshall, NJ and Streelman, JT (2009) Cleaner gobies evolve advertising stripes of higher contrast. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY, 212 14: 2194-2203. doi:10.1242/jeb.025478

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Author Lettieri, L
Cheney, K.L
Mazel, CH
Boothe, D
Marshall, NJ
Streelman, JT
Title Cleaner gobies evolve advertising stripes of higher contrast
Journal name JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0949
Publication date 2009-07-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1242/jeb.025478
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 212
Issue 14
Start page 2194
End page 2203
Total pages 10
Editor Dow, J
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Language eng
Subject C1
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified
Abstract E
Formatted abstract
Elacatinus gobies of the Caribbean have undergone rapid speciation along ecological axes, and particular species from this
genus act as ‘cleaners’ that remove ectoparasites from larger coral reef fish, termed ‘clients’. Evolutionary shifts in habitat use,
behavior and lateral body stripe colors differentiate cleaners from ancestral sponge-dwelling lineages. High-contrast stripe colors
associated with cleaning behavior on coral reefs may have evolved as a signal of cleaning status. We asked whether cleaner
gobies with blue stripes are more conspicuous than ancestral yellow- and green-stripe phenotypes to a diverse set of potential
client visual systems in the tropical reef environment where cleaning stations are commonly observed. Using spectrophotometric
measurements of cleaners with blue and yellow stripes and their F1 hybrid, we tested the contrast of each color stripe to both
potential dichromatic and trichromatic reef fish visual systems, against typical coral and sponge microhabitat background colors.
Blue stripes provide the highest average chromatic contrast across a range of possible microhabitat colors to the majority of fish
visual systems tested. The contrast provided by yellow and hybrid green stripes are comparable across habitats to dichromatic
visual systems. The green stripe is less contrasting than both blue and yellow to many potential trichromatic visual systems. We
suggest that the evolution of blue stripes in Elacatinus gobies could be a result of natural selection for signals of high color
contrast, driven by the sensory biases and visual systems of diverse reef fish clients.
Keyword specialization
Adaptive Radiation
vision model
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID IOS 0546423
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 17:47:25 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Biological Sciences