Wolves in sheep’s clothing: three new cases of aggressive mimicry in Red Sea coral reef fishes

Luiz A. Rocha, Joseph DiBattista, Tane H. Sinclair-Taylor, Michael L. Berumen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Here we document three cases of mimicry in coral reef fishes not previously reported in the literature involving two groupers (Epinephelus leucogrammicus and Plectropomus marisrubri) and a soapfish (Diploprion drachi) as mimics, and two wrasses (Larabicus quadrilineatus and Cheilinus quinquecinctus) and a blenny (Meiacanthus nigrolineatus) as models. All three cases are of aggressive mimicry, with a predatory species mimicking a harmless one, and in one of the cases, the mimicry is also Müllerian, where both the predator and harmless species are unpalatable.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1019-1023
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Natural History
Issue number15-16
StatePublished - Sep 30 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-04
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): CRG-1-2012-BER-002
Acknowledgements: This study was supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Office of Competitive Research Funds (OCRF) under Award No. CRG-1-2012-BER-002 and 59130357, baseline research funds to M.L.B., as well as a National Geographic Society Grant 9024-11 to J.D.D and California Academy of Sciences funding to L.A.R. We acknowledge logistic support from Eric Mason at Dream Divers, KAUST Coastal and Marine Resources Core Lab along with Malek Amr Gusti and the crew of the RV Thuwal, and field assistance from members of the Reef Ecology Lab at KAUST, particularly Darren Coker.


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