Observations on coloration in reference to behavior in tide-pool and other marine shore fishes. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 92, article 5

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New York : [American Museum of Natural History]
"One. Regular inhabitants of Bahama tide pools maintain their residence for long periods, extending at least between drying on successive spring tides. 2. Peck-order hierarchies of some stability are established in these tide pools which are interspecific and evidently depend to a considerable extent on size and darkness of coloration. 3. The contents of such tide pools may be divided into typical species which are dominant and show specializations associated with tide-pool life, casual species which are less abundant and show no obvious tide-pool specialization but are well accommodated to them, and accidental species which are rare and evidently not suited to such places in which they are apparently occasionally trapped. 4. Species in the area studied which are here considered as typical include Bathygobius soporator and Salarichthys textilis; those considered as casual include the young of Eupomacentrus leucostictus, E. adustus, Abudefduf analogus, and A. saxatilis; while those considered as accidental include Jenkinsia lamprotaenia, the young of Mugil trichodon, Eucinostomus gula, Eques pulcher, Pomacanthus aureus, Acanthurus hepatus, and Thalassoma bifasciatum. 5. In addition to respiratory specializations and the ability to leave a given pool and move overland, the typical species are able to and do match the bottom on which they rest to a remarkable degree, while the casuals in no case show such adjustments, their bright colors making them conspicuous to a notable extent. 6. The typical species are strictly carnivorous and prey to some slight extent on the casuals, but the latter as well as the accidentals are all non-predatory, subsisting on such vegetable and animal matter as they may obtain by picking at growths on the substrate or grubbing in the sand. 7. The typical tide-pool species, and Eupomacentrus among the casuals, spend much time going in and out of cavities such as empty shells, the former both day and night while the latter spend the entire night hidden in such places. All the rest spend the night resting in open places, with the exception of Thalassoma which evidently spends the night under cover. 8. Both Eucinostomus gula and young Sphyraena barracuda inhabit open, shallow, sandy beaches and show a bottom-matching mottling over mottled bottom, but become plain and also bottom matching over clean sand with the exception of certain fin tips which become intensely black. 9. The fact that the black pupil of the eye cannot be faded suggests that the fin tip is in some way connected with this fact in reference to recognition or confusion. 10. Other fishes of these same clean beach areas that show similar black-and-white patterns, involving only the fin tips, include, besides the above, adult Mugil trichodon and young Trachinotus palometa. 11. Both young and adult of Chaetodipterus faber, in the very clear water of this region (in contrast to their chromatic behavior in places of greater turbidity), when on clear stretches of sand show their blackest phase and recline on one side, resembling a piece of inert trash, but when in the area of a dock right themselves and hide among the piles with their boldest pattern of black-and-white vertical bars. 12. Since the more usual background-matching behavior of other fishes makes it possible only for blind fish to show their darkest phase when in light on a light background, it follows that the visual-hormonal control of melanophores in Chaetodipterus must operate in a different manner. 13. The fish Astrapogon, inquiline in Strombus gigas, shows an approximately equal infestation of this mollusk irrespective of the concentration of the latter, but only in inside sheltered waters, and it is evidently absent from the relatively unsheltered Strombus samba. About one Strombus in 12 was found to be inhabited by an Astrapogon in sheltered places. 14. The spawning season of Astrapogon begins in August in this region"--P. 309.
p. 285-311, [4] p. of plates : ill. ; 27 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 310-311).