Predator-induced changes in the growth of eyes and false eyespots

Lonnstedt, Oona M., McCormick, Mark I., and Chivers, Douglas P. (2013) Predator-induced changes in the growth of eyes and false eyespots. Scientific Reports, 3. 2259. pp. 1-5.

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Abstract

The animal world is full of brilliant colours and striking patterns that serve to hide individuals or attract the attention of others. False eyespots are pervasive across a variety of animal taxa and are among nature's most conspicuous markings. Understanding the adaptive significance of eyespots has long fascinated evolutionary ecologists. Here we show for the first time that the size of eyespots is plastic and increases upon exposure to predators. Associated with the growth of eyespots there is a corresponding reduction in growth of eyes in juvenile Ambon damselfish, Pomacentrus amboinensis. These morphological changes likely direct attacks away from the head region. Exposure to predators also induced changes in prey behaviour and morphology. Such changes could prevent or deter attacks and increase burst speed, aiding in escape. Damselfish exposed to predators had drastically higher survival suffering only 10% mortality while controls suffered 60% mortality 72 h after release.

Item ID: 29080
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Additional Information:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Research Data: http://dx.doi.org/10.4225/28/5a7289502ef8b
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2013 05:31
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 60%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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