Thursday, January 13, 2011

13/01/11 Unusual Marine Behaviour - Shadow Hunting

Shadow hunting is a term used to describe a particular type of behaviour where a species of fish follows another species around in order to capture prey. The trumpetfish Alustomus chinensis can often be seen following groupers and other large fish species. This long slender fish breaks up it's outline by hiding close to the fish it is shadowing in the hope of not being seen. Then when an opportune moment arrives it is able to dart out and grab it's prey.

Here in the bay we often see trumpetfish shadowing another species, following them all around the reef. In a hugely competitive environment such as a coral reef, shadow hunting has developed as a useful tactic in the constant search for prey.