Fish mimics mimic octopus

This is a great find by Not Exactly Rocket Science's Ed Yong. A tourist and a couple of researchers from the California Academy of Sciences have documented an instance of Pacific-dwelling jawfish hiding from predators by blending into the stripes of well-known camouflage guru, the mimic octopus.

This relationship is probably a rare occurrence. The black-marble jawfish is found throughout the Pacific from Japan to Australia, while the mimic octopus only hangs around Indonesia and Malaysia. For most of its range, the jawfish has no octopuses to hide against. Instead, Ross and Rocha think that this particular fish is engaging in “opportunistic mimicry”, taking advantage of a rare chance to share in an octopus’s protection.

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Thanks, Atvaark!


    1. Which it is why it is wise for a fish in octopus-range to make itself look like it’s not a fish.

      1. Well in that case, disguising itself against the parts of the predator that would do the grabbing is pretty metal.

  1. The Octopus’ Disguise Portfolio is truly awesome.  Note that it’s smart enough to dress up like the intended dupe’s Worst Nightmare; whatever that may be.

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