Hopkins Marine Station Student Paper

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(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)

Title: The pattern change of acclimation to novel grained substrates of the speckled sanddab, Citharichthys stigmaeus
Student Author(s): Deck, Andrew
Faculty Advisor(s): Baxter, Chuck
%E Denny, Mark
Pages: 34
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1989
Keywords: nearshore fishes
Abstract: I studied the pattern changing abilities of the Speckled Sanddab by acclimating sandy patterned fish to a rocky substrate and rocky patterned fish to a sandy substrate. Both rocky and sandy fish demonstrated the ability to alter their pattern to match a novel substrate. After 8 days of acclimation, rocky fish matched sand better than sandy fish matched rock. Whether this was the result of all fish becoming sandier after removal from the field is not certain. There may be a cost to maintaining a rocky morphology. If so, it would be more difficult for a sandy fish to gain a rocky morphology than it would for a rocky fish to gain a sandy morphology. Sandy fish showed a greater fidelity to their original substrate than rocky fish, indicating that a lower ability to effectively match another substrate limits the freedom a fish displays in choosing a new substrate.