Preference for Vertical-striped Backgrounds by the Oyanirami Coreoperca kawamebari, a Freshwater Serranid


Dept. of Biology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Okayama University, Tsushima, Okayama 700, Japan.


The oyanirami Coreoperca kawamebari displays cross-stripes on its body when afraid; this pattern is also used as a signal to conspecifics. The fish preferred to rest at vertically- rather than horizontally-striped sites, and transparent stripes were more attractive than opaque ones, but no inclination was shown for any particular stripe widths. It is hypothesized that the cross-stripes first evolved as a pattern furthering crypticity among the vertical aquatic habitat plants, secondarily as a signal to conspecifics.