Factors Influencing Motile Activities of Fish Chromatophores

  • R. Fujii
  • N. Oshima
Part of the Advances in Comparative and Environmental Physiology book series (COMPARATIVE, volume 20)


The beautiful coloration, conspicuous patterns and their spectacular changes displayed by many poikilotherms have always attracted attention. The animals themselves utilize these features as “aposematic” or “advertisement” coloration. Inconspicuous colors and patterns are conversely exploited as “cryptic” or “concealing” coloration. Many people simply appreciate these phenomena, while zoologists and physiologists can also enjoy studying them. For the animals themselves, however, such colors, patterns and reactions represent strategies of the utmost importance for the survival of individuals or of species. For example, “protective” coloration, which constitutes part of the cryptic coloration mentioned above, is useful for avoiding attacks by predators, while conspicuous displays function to frighten predators. On many occasions, delicate and subtle changes in hues and patterns are used for communication with conspecifics (cf. Cott 1940; Bagnara and Hadley 1973; Needham 1974; Fujii 1993a). These phenomena are especially highly evolved in fish among the vertebrates, and in particular among members of the class Osteichthyes. The chromatic systems of Osteichthyes have developed extraordinarily sophisticated properties during the evolution of this class of vertebrates over the course of more than 400 million years.


Pigment Cell Melanin Concentrate Hormone Pigment Aggregation Motile Activity True Transmitter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Fujii
  • N. Oshima
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biomolecular Science, Faculty of ScienceToho UniversityFunabashi, Chiba 274Japan

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