Size and contrast increase the divertive effect of eyespots

A1 Originalartikel i en vetenskaplig tidskrift (referentgranskad)

Interna författare/redaktörer

Publikationens författare: Karin Kjernsmo, Miranda Grönholm, Sami Merilaita
Publiceringsår: 2019
Tidskrift: Behavioral Ecology
Tidskriftsakronym: BEHAV ECOL
Volym: 30
Nummer: 1
Artikelns första sida, sidnummer: 159
Artikelns sista sida, sidnummer: 165
Antal sidor: 7
ISSN: 1045-2249


Recent studies have shown that some eyespots of prey divert the strikes
of predators, increasing the likelihood of prey escape. However, little
is known about what makes eyespots effective divertive (deflective) prey
marks. The size of eyespots varies much both between and even within
taxa. Yet, whether size is important for the divertive function of
eyespots is unknown. Furthermore, eyespots have often been described as
highly contrasting, but the effects of contrast on the divertive
function of eyespots has never been tested experimentally. Using
artificial prey and the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus)
as a model for predator cognition and behavior, we tested the
importance of size as well as internal contrast for the divertive effect
of eyespots. We independently increased the internal contrast and size
of eyespots and found that both increased the divertive effect. The
effect of size was significant over all 4 subsequent prey presentations,
whereas the effect of contrast decreased after the initial
presentations. These results suggest that the size and contrast of
divertive marks are probably shaped by selection imposed by predation.
We also discuss the involvement of predation in the seasonal and
ontogenic plasticity of eyespots found in some taxa.


deception, diversion, eyespot, Gasterosteus aculeatus, protective coloration

Senast uppdaterad 2020-01-04 vid 08:32