Mucus-secreting lips offer protection to suction-feeding corallivorous

Huertas, Victor, and Bellwood, David R. (2017) Mucus-secreting lips offer protection to suction-feeding corallivorous. Current Biology, 27 (11). R406-R407.

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Of the 6,000 reef fish species, only 128 feed on corals [1,2]. Despite being widely available on tropical reefs, corals appear to represent a particularly challenging trophic resource, with mucus- and nematocyst-laden tissues spread over a sharp coral skeleton. Here we report that coral-feeding tubelip wrasses use highly modified lips to suck material from the coral surface. These lips have a specialized mushroom-like lamellar epithelium that secretes mucus. This mucus may facilitate suction and reduce damage by nematocysts in a manner akin to anemonefishes. The remarkable lip specializations observed in tubelip wrasses highlight the potential role of soft tissues in shaping the trophic ability of fishes.

Item ID: 53165
Item Type: Article (Short Note)
ISSN: 1879-0445
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Research Data:
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2018 05:00
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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