Document Detail

Cleaner gobies evolve advertising stripes of higher contrast.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19561209     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Elacatinus gobies of the Caribbean have undergone rapid speciation along ecological axes, and particular species from this genus act as 'cleaners' that remove ectoparasites from larger coral reef fish, termed 'clients'. Evolutionary shifts in habitat use, behavior and lateral body stripe colors differentiate cleaners from ancestral sponge-dwelling lineages. High-contrast stripe colors associated with cleaning behavior on coral reefs may have evolved as a signal of cleaning status. We asked whether cleaner gobies with blue stripes are more conspicuous than ancestral yellow- and green-stripe phenotypes to a diverse set of potential client visual systems in the tropical reef environment where cleaning stations are commonly observed. Using spectrophotometric measurements of cleaners with blue and yellow stripes and their F1 hybrid, we tested the contrast of each color stripe to both potential dichromatic and trichromatic reef fish visual systems, against typical coral and sponge microhabitat background colors. Blue stripes provide the highest average chromatic contrast across a range of possible microhabitat colors to the majority of fish visual systems tested. The contrast provided by yellow and hybrid green stripes are comparable across habitats to dichromatic visual systems. The green stripe is less contrasting than both blue and yellow to many potential trichromatic visual systems. We suggest that the evolution of blue stripes in Elacatinus gobies could be a result of natural selection for signals of high color contrast, driven by the sensory biases and visual systems of diverse reef fish clients.
L Lettieri; K L Cheney; C H Mazel; D Boothe; N J Marshall; J T Streelman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  212     ISSN:  0022-0949     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2009 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-06-29     Completed Date:  2009-10-22     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2194-203     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0230, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Anthozoa / anatomy & histology
Behavior, Animal*
Color Perception
Perciformes / anatomy & histology*,  physiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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