, Volume 31, Issue 1, p 285
Date: 10 Dec 2011

Opportunistic mimicry by a Jawfish

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The Mimic Octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus) is a remarkable imitator, apparently assuming shape and behaviour similar to models as diverse as poisonous Lionfish, Soles and Sea Snakes (Norman et al. 2001). All of those models share in common stripped brown and beige or black and white colour patterns. During a diving trip to the Lembeh Strait (North Sulawesi, Indonesia) in July of 2011, the third author filmed a Mimic Octopus for about 15 min and recorded an unexpected relationship: the Black-Marble Jawfish (Stalix cf. histrio) followed the Mimic Octopus for several minutes, remaining very close to the octopus’ arms (Fig. 1; Electronic Supplemental Material). The colour of the Jawfish matched the banded pattern and colour tone of the octopus.Fig. 1

Frames from the video showing the Black-Marble Jawfish (Stalix cf. histrio) closely following the Mimic Octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus). Red arrows point to the head of the Jawfish. The entire video can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4 ...