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      Morphometric comparisons of plant-mimetic juvenile fish associated with plant debris observed in the coastal subtropical waters around Kuchierabu-jima Island, southern Japan

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          Abstract

          The general morphological shape of plant-resembling fish and plant parts were compared using a geometric morphometrics approach. Three plant-mimetic fish species, Lobotes surinamensis (Lobotidae), Platax orbicularis (Ephippidae) and Canthidermis maculata (Balistidae), were compared during their early developmental stages with accompanying plant debris (i.e., leaves of several taxa) in the coastal subtropical waters around Kuchierabu-jima Island, closely facing the Kuroshio Current. The degree of similarity shared between the plant parts and co-occurring fish species was quantified, however fish remained morphologically distinct from their plant models. Such similarities were corroborated by analysis of covariance and linear discriminant analysis, in which relative body areas of fish were strongly related to plant models. Our results strengthen the paradigm that morphological clues can lead to ecological evidence to allow predictions of behavioural and habitat choice by mimetic fish, according to the degree of similarity shared with their respective models. The resemblance to plant parts detected in the three fish species may provide fitness advantages via convergent evolutionary effects.

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          Most cited references 51

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          Fishes of the World

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            An overview of the relationships between mimicry and crypsis

             John Endler (1981)
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              Masquerade: camouflage without crypsis.

              Masquerade describes the resemblance of an organism to an inedible object and is hypothesized to facilitate misidentification of that organism by its predators or its prey. To date, there has been no empirical demonstration of the benefits of masquerade. Here, we show that two species of caterpillar obtain protection from an avian predator by being misidentified as twigs. By manipulating predators' previous experience of the putative model but keeping their exposure to the masquerader the same, we determined that predators misidentify masquerading prey as their models, rather than simply failing to detect them.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                PeerJ
                PeerJ
                peerj
                peerj
                PeerJ
                PeerJ Inc. (San Francisco, USA )
                2167-8359
                26 July 2016
                2016
                : 4
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Instituto de Estudos Costeiros, Laboratório de Evolução, Universidade Federal do Pará , Bragança, Pará, Brazil
                [2 ]Graduate School of Biosphere Science, Laboratory of Aquatic Resources, Hiroshima University , Higashi-Hiroshima, Japan
                [3 ]Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Universidade do Porto , Vairão, Portugal
                [4 ]Campus de Capanema, Universidade Federal Rural da Amazônia , Capanema, Pará, Brazil
                Article
                2268
                10.7717/peerj.2268
                4974952
                27547571
                ©2016 Queiroz et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.

                Funding
                Funded by: CAPES
                Award ID: process #6718-10-8
                Funded by: FAPESPA
                Award ID: process #456780/2012
                This study was financially supported by CAPES (process #6718-10-8), FAPESPA (process # 456780/2012), and the following research projects: “Fluxos (Água, Sedimentos, Nutrientes e Plâncton) Amazônicos ao longo do Continuum Rio-Estuário-Costa e Implicações para a Biodiversidade Vegetal Costeira Amazônica” (Programa CAPES Pró-Amazônia: Biodiversidade e Sustentabilidade—Edital 047/2012) AUXPE no. 3290/2013, and “Descoberta de um Novo Bioma Marinho Amazônico” (Programa IODP/CAPES-Brasil—Edital 038/2014) Processo no. 88887.091707/2014-01. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Animal Behavior
                Aquaculture, Fisheries and Fish Science
                Ecology
                Marine Biology
                Zoology

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