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A Description and Experimental Analysis of Batesian Mimicry between a Marine Gastropod and an Amphipod

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Title: A Description and Experimental Analysis of Batesian Mimicry between a Marine Gastropod and an Amphipod
Authors: Field, Laurence H.
Issue Date: Oct 1974
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Field LH. 1974. A description and experimental analysis of Batesian mimicry between a marine gastropod and an amphipod. Pac Sci 28(4): 439-447.
Abstract: An apparent case of Batesian mimicry is described between three
co-occurring species of the marine gastropod Lacuna (the model) and an amphipod
mimic (Stenopleustes). Similar characteristics include size, color pattern, and locomotory
behavior on eelgrass blades. Both animals inhabit subtidal eelgrass beds,
but the mimic is only 1.0-4.2 percent as common as the model. Predatory fish
(Cottidae, Pholidae) from the eelgrass habitat rarely eat Lacuna or Stenopleustes
(shown by fecal analysis) but will readily eat Stenopleustes if the mimic betrays its
snail disguise by swimming. Only 8.8 percent of the Stenopleustes (which walks
along eelgrass blades and seldom swims) were eaten, compared to 62.5-percent
predation of a co-occurring nonmimetic gammarid amphipod (which often
swims), in laboratory predator-prey experiments. These data suggest that the
amphipod, by resembling a conspicuous and relatively inedible snail, enjoys a
protective advantage from predation by fish in the eelgrass habitat.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/1160
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 28, Number 4, 1974



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