A complex mode of aggressive mimicry in a scale-eating cichlid fish

Boileau, Nicolas, Cortesi, Fabio, Egger, Bernd, Muschick, Moritz, Indermaur, Adrian, Theis, Anya, Buscher, Heinz H. and Salzburger, Walter (2015) A complex mode of aggressive mimicry in a scale-eating cichlid fish. Biology Letters, 11 9: 1-4. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2015.0521

Author Boileau, Nicolas
Cortesi, Fabio
Egger, Bernd
Muschick, Moritz
Indermaur, Adrian
Theis, Anya
Buscher, Heinz H.
Salzburger, Walter
Title A complex mode of aggressive mimicry in a scale-eating cichlid fish
Journal name Biology Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1744-957X
Publication date 2015-09-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rsbl.2015.0521
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 11
Issue 9
Start page 1
End page 4
Total pages 4
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Aggressive mimicry is an adaptive tactic of parasitic or predatory species that closely resemble inoffensive models in order to increase fitness via predatory gains. Although similarity of distantly related species is often intuitively implicated with mimicry, the exact mechanisms and evolutionary causes remain elusive in many cases. Here, we report a complex aggressive mimicry strategy in Plecodus straeleni, a scale-eating cichlid fish from Lake Tanganyika, which imitates two other cichlid species. Employing targeted sequencing on ingested scales, we show that P. straeleni does not preferentially parasitize its models but—contrary to prevailing assumptions—targets a variety of co-occurring dissimilar looking fish species. Combined with tests for visual resemblance and visual modelling from a prey perspective, our results suggest that complex interactions among different cichlid species are involved in this mimicry system.
Keyword Aggressive mimicry
Colour vision
Lake Tanganyika
Molecular diet analysis
Plecodus straeleni
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 7 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 23 Nov 2015, 21:26:30 EST by Susan Day on behalf of School of Biological Sciences