Skip to main content

Free Content Polymorphism, Mimicry, and the Evolution of the Hamlets (Hypoplectrus, Serranidae)

Download Article:
(PDF 1032.9404296875 kb)
The hamlets, small western Atlantic serranids in the genus Hypoplectrus, are poorly understood systematically. The 12 apparent species are broadly overlapping in ecology, distribution, and morphology; they differ almost exclusively in color pattern alone. Many of these color patterns are, in turn, subject to considerable geographic and sympatric variation. Apparent hybrids, fishes combining color characteristics of two or more other species, are also common. The primary color patterns are further unusual in that most duplicate, in detail, the color patterns of other common, but non-predatory, fishes, these members of several families. Evidence strongly suggests hamlets to be aggressive mimics of the latter species. The evolution of the hamlets is, therefore, seen as a combination of easy chromatic variation and stabilization of some patterns based on mimetic value. The diversity of hamlet species is the result of the population size of each mimic being limited to some fraction of the population size of its respective model species. Thus, no single mimic can achieve complete dominance and a stable balanced polymorphism is generated.

5 References.

No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1978-04-01

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more