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Abstract

In agonistic encounters an oyanirami (Coreoperca kawamebari) displays laterally to a rival. The lateral pattern is thought to have a threatening effect, eliciting aggressive reactions. A conspicuous eye-like spot near the real eye is a main component of the pattern and is almost a key stimulus releasing aggressive actions of rivals; it has been shown, however, that the position of the spot has no connection with this effect. In the present study, video-taped bites on two dummies were examined, one with the normal aggressive pattern and one with an artificial posterior-spotted pattern. The natural eye-like spots deflected attacks from the real eyes, but the artificial spots further from the real eyes did not. Only the nearby eye-like spots can preserve the real eyes from rival attacks.