Colour change

Colour change is used by fish to blend in to the background habitat to prevent detection by potential predators or unsuspecting prey, or as in the case of mimicry systems or disruptive colouration, a deceptive mechanism to avoid recognition by signal receivers. Many advertisements in social interactions also use colour change and in the case of aggressive displays or mate attraction may indicate an individual’s motivational state and the subsequent behavior it is likely to display. Fish species can also exhibit ontogenetic colour change, as they switch from juvenile to adult forms. We are focusing on how blennies and other reef fish change colour to avoid detection from unsuspecting prey, and how they may alter their colouration to prevent detection.

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