New cases of mimicry in marine fishes



Ten new cases of mimicry in marine fishes are described. Juveniles of Lutjanus bohar (Lutjanidae) appear to be aggressive mimics of the damsel fish Chromis ternatensis (Poma-centridae). Both species occur together throughout the Indo-Pacific. At Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, juveniles ofAnyperodon leucogrammicus similarly appear to be aggressive mimics of the wrasse Halichoeres biocellatus (Labridae). At One Tree Island, Great Barrier Reef, juveniles of Scolopsis bilinealus (Scolopsidae) enter into a Batesian mimic ring with Meiacanthus lineatus (Blenniidae) and an undescribed species of Petroscirtes (Blenniidae). In Fiji, S. bilineatus enters into a mimic complex with Meiacanthus atrodorsalis oualanensis and Plagiotremus laudandus (Blenniidae). At Madang, New Guinea, Scolopsis margaritifer juveniles and Cheilodipteris zonatus (Apogonidae) appear to be Batesian mimics of an undescribed species of Meiacanthus. In Samoa, Aspidontus taeniatus (Blenniidae) appears to be an aggressive mimic of a new species of Labroides (Labridae). In New Britain an unusual orange colour morph of the sabre-tooth blenny Plagiotremus rhynorhynchos appears to aggressively mimic Anthias mortoni (Anthiidae) with which it associates. The sabre-tooth blenny Plagiotremus tapeinosoma loosely associates with different species over its range of distribution. On the Great Barrier Reef and at Norfolk Island, it swims among aggregations of Thalassoma amblycephalus (Labridae); in south-eastern Australia it enters into a similar loose mimetic relationship with aggregations of Trachinops taeniatus (Plesiopidae); and in north-eastern New Zealand, it associates with an undescribed, free-swimming species of Forsterygion (Tripterygiidae). Mimicry amongst marine fishes appears to be a general and widespread phenomenon. Present examples suggest that there may be varying degrees of resemblance; in some cases the mimic-model relationship is loose and facultative while in others it appears to be highly co-evolved and obligative.