Journal of the
Ocean Science Foundation

An open-access free online peer-reviewed Marine Biology Journal, since 2008.

published by the Ocean Science Foundation

 
click on covers for COVER PAGE images
click on covers for COVER PAGE images
 

NOTE

Juveniles of the Bluespotted Trevally, Caranx bucculentus (Teleostei: Carangidae), schooling with venomous catfishes (Plotosidae): a new
case of mimicry

William F. Smith-Vaniz, Anna DeLoach & Ned DeLoach

Introduction

The Striped Catfish, Plotosus lineatus (Thunberg), occurs from east Africa and the Red Sea to Samoa and feeds primarily on crustaceans and occasionally mollusks and small fishes. These catfish have venomous dorsal and pectoral -fin spines and their stab wounds are extremely painful (Randall 2005a, Bergbauer et al. 2009). The juveniles frequently swarm over the bottom and form compact ball-like schools, which provide additional protection by confusing predators. The juveniles “seem to know they are safe, as they make little effort to move when disturbed” (Bergbauer et al. 2009). In 2006, at Lembeh Strait, Indonesia, juvenile trevallies (Carangidae) were first observed schooling with Striped Catfish, but the photographic images were too small to allow positive identification of the trevally species. On 6 April 2011, at a different site in Lembeh Strait, the same behavior was successfully documented with video (archived and available at http://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1345288). The juvenile trevallies are the Bluespotted Trevally, Caranx bucculentus Alleyne & Macleay, a piscivorous Indo-West Pacific species known from Australia to Japan. This species differs from its congeners most obviously in having the straight part of the lateral line with enlarged scutes that extend anteriorly to below the first dorsal fin, combined with a very short, strongly arched, curved lateral line (Smith-Vaniz 1999). The prominent stripes of the trevally juveniles (Fig. 1) have not been observed previously in the species, clearly indicating alteration of the typical color pattern to more closely match that of the Striped Catfish.
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CITATION:

Smith-Vaniz, W.F., DeLoach, A. & DeLoach, N. (2018) Juveniles of the Bluespotted Trevally, Caranx bucculentus (Teleostei: Carangidae), schooling with venomous catfishes (Plotosidae): a new case of mimicry. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation, 30, 82-84.

http://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1345326

publication date: 20 August 2018