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23-2_Lobotes surinamensis

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SINGLE PAPER

Volume 23, Issue 2 – 28 January 2017

Ivan Sazima: Deception, protection, and aggression in the mangrove: three juvenile fishes and floating leaves in Southeast Brazil, pp. 41-46

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SINGLE PAPER

Volume 23, Issue 2 – 28 January 2017

Ivan Sazima: Deception, protection, and aggression in the mangrove: three juvenile fishes and floating leaves in Southeast Brazil, pp. 41-46

Abstract

Mangroves and similar habitats generally harbour rich and varied fish assemblages composed mostly of juvenile individuals (nurseries). I report here on juveniles of three fish species that make use of floating leaves in mangroves, tidal creeks, and beaches with freshwater influence. The tripletail Lobotes surinamensis uses leaves as a form of masquerade (resemblance to decaying leaves) both as protection against potential predators and as disguise to approach prey (aggressive mimicry). The mullet Mugil liza uses leaves as shelter against potential predators. The leatherjacket Oligoplites saurus uses leaves mostly as cover to approach its prey. These three fish species illustrate the variety of opportunities to use floating leaves in mangrovelike habitats. No doubt there are additional uses, but the majority of them would likely be a way to elude potential predators in one of the most vulnerable life stages of a fish.