Mating behavior and rapid concealing of nuptial coloration in males of the Fishgod Blenny Malacoctenus ebisui (Teleostei: Blenniiformes)

TitleMating behavior and rapid concealing of nuptial coloration in males of the Fishgod Blenny Malacoctenus ebisui (Teleostei: Blenniiformes)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsGalvan-Villa C.M, Hastings PA
JournalEnvironmental Biology of Fishes
Volume101
Pagination735-739
Date Published2018/05
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0378-1909
Accession NumberWOS:000429933600006
KeywordsColor patterns; courtship; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; fishes; hypothesis; Marine & Freshwater Biology; Mating behavior; reef fish; Safety assurance; Trade-offs; tropical eastern pacific
Abstract

Courting males often face the trade-off of attracting the attention of both females and predators. Rapid color change, a relatively simple solution to this dilemma, is described for nuptial males of the Fishgod Blenny Malacoctenus ebisui (Teleostei: Blenniiformes) from direct observations at three rocky reefs in the Mexican Pacific. Nuptial males showed three dark bars on a white background that covered the anterior part of the body, and three dark bars posteriorly forming a solid dark patch along the midline. The head was black with a prominent white area on the lower portion of the iris of each eye, two white patches on the upper jaw, and one central white patch on the lower jaw. When an intensely colored male was disturbed the white patches on the eyes quickly disappeared, while the other white markings became muted apparently by rapid expansion of melanophores. This relatively simple system permits males of the Fishgod Blenny to rapidly suppress their conspicuous coloration in response to perceived threats. Mating behavior of the Fishgod Blenny observed at Bahia Chamela is similar to that reported for other labrisomid blennies, with males repeatedly nudging the side of the female and both sexes alternately performing quivering movements.

DOI10.1007/s10641-018-0733-3
Short TitleEnviron. Biol. Fishes
Student Publication: 
No
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