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School oriented mimicry a new type of mimicry in fishes



School oriented mimicry a new type of mimicry in fishes



Marine Ecology Progress Series 20(1-2): 45-50



The venomous Red Sea blenny Meiacanthus nigrolineatus is avoided by predatory reef fishes and is mimicked by other blenniid species. M. nigrolineatus juveniles (< 20 mm) possess a distinct color pattern, dark stripes and a basicaudal blotch, which is different from that of adults and closely resembles the color patterns of various cardinal fish species (Apogonidae), among whose schools it is frequently found. Solitary fish species may mimic schooling species and gain protection by mingling into their schools or aggregations. Some hitherto unclassified cases of mimicry are discussed and included in a new type of mimicry: school-oriented mimicry.

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