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Darter camouflage

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#1 FirstChAoS

  • Regional Rep

Posted 22 June 2018 - 12:03 PM

When it comes to darter coloration most people focus on the brilliant hues of riffle dwellers. However I was curious about the other side of darter coloration.

I noticed tesselate darters have an amazing ability to match the substrate turning from pale and speckled in sand to reddish brown and pale over mud.

How do they know how to match the environment they are in? Know is in quotes as I know it is not actual knowledge driving it.

What do they hide from? Is it just a generally useful defense or is it to counter one specific predator who targets them?

#2 Ken Kilby

Ken Kilby
  • NANFA Member
  • Georgia, Upper Flint

Posted 22 June 2018 - 12:15 PM

Hiding from anything that might eat you is a useful trait.  I can imagine any number of animals would consider a Darter a tasty snack, other fish, birds, coons... I assume this trait has been selected for.

#3 JasonL

  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 22 June 2018 - 10:02 PM

Not limited to darters, other fish species do this to varying degrees.

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