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Reversible frequency-dependent predation of a puffer, Takifugu niphobles (Pisces: Tetraodontidae), related to spatial distribution of colour-polymorphic prey
Shigemiya, Y. (2004). Reversible frequency-dependent predation of a puffer, Takifugu niphobles (Pisces: Tetraodontidae), related to spatial distribution of colour-polymorphic prey. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 81(2): 197-202
In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0024-4066, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Marine

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  • Shigemiya, Y.

Abstract
    The pufferTakifugu niphoblesis a top predator of hard-shelled prey such as molluscs; its predatory tactics may affectthe evolution of prey coloration. Two hypotheses concerning its foraging were tested: (1)T. niphoblesshows frequencydependence in foraging colour-polymorphic prey, and (2) such dependence reverses in response to changes inprey distribution. Captive fish were provided with 70 artificial prey, coloured either dark brown or pale brown, at fourfrequencies (1 : 4, 2 : 3, 3 : 2, 4 : 1) and in two distribution patterns (uniform and aggregated). When prey were uniformlydistributed, frequency and feeding rate significantly influenced colour preference: the common morph wasconsumed more. When prey were aggregated, frequency significantly affected preference only when the feeding ratewas low, in which case the rare morph was consumed more. Thus both hypotheses were supported. The impact ofT. niphobles’s frequency-dependent predation and its reversal on the colour evolution of prey species, especiallymolluscs, is discussed.

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