SYDNEY, March 20 (Xinhua) -- A small fish that lives in the Australian Great Barrier Reef preys on smaller fish by changing color and pretending to be an adult of their own species, according to a study released on Friday.
The dusky dottyback (Pseudochromis fuscus) is a small predatory fish that is found throughout the Indo-Pacific and has the ability to be able to change color.
Its ability to vary in coloration has baffled scientists until an international research team led by evolutionary biologists Dr Fabio Cortesi and Professor Walter Salzburger from the University of Basel have developed a theory.
The zoologists are now able to show that dottybacks can quickly change their color in order to mimic other fish species and chase their prey.
The dusky dottyback fish also helps protect it from its own predators.
"This strategy is very similar to the classic example of the wolf in sheep's clothing. However, while the wolf may be found out eventually, dottybacks are able to change again," Cortesi said in the journal.