Amourobius ferox

Amourobius ferox
By Peter Byles

Monday, 29 November 2010

Colour - a competitive advantage

Phil Newman gave an interesting talk last week on nudibranchs and explained that some of them are brightly coloured to warn predators that they contain poison. This started me thinking that this may be the reason why species such as gem anemones, jewel anemones, dahlia anemones, devonshire cup corals etc stand out in their environment. Is this to warn sight-based hunters such as crabs and fish that they sting?

An interesting test of the theory might be the relative predation on snakelocks anemones - one variant is brightly coloured green and pink whereas the other is a dull grey. Which one gets eaten less? the one that stands out or the one that is camouflaged?

Over to the experts - Lou Luddington, Francis Bunker, Dale Fort FSC team and anyone else ...

1 comment:

  1. Interesting thought Andy! I studied symbiosis in snakelocks for my thesis but didn't look at predation so no enlightenment from my corner!

    ReplyDelete