Video: How to mimic a mimic!

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Check out this fabulous new footage of a fish that mimics a mimic!

Scientists recorded this association between the Black marbled jawfish (Stalix cf. histrio) and the Mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus) for the first time during a diving trip in Indonesia last year.

The Mimic octopus is famous for its talented impersonations of lionfish, sea snakes and toxic flatfish which it conjures up by rearranging its tentacles and adopting the required swimming movements. Its brown and white patterning adds to this illusion.

The jawfish, usually a shy species which prefers to live close to its burrow, was seen to closely follow the octopus along the bottom of the sea. The little fish, which has a similar colour pattern, was often very difficult to spot as it was so well camouflaged among the tentacles of the octopus.

It's thought that this is a case of "opportunistic mimicry" on the part of the jawfish, which swims alongside the octopus for protection, allowing it to venture further away from its burrow to find food.

 

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