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Fish Colors

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Chapter Summary

Colors in fishes include fixed colors present throughout a phase of life, and chromatophore-influenced colors which change with the emotional state of the fish and with light intensity. A single species of fish often exhibits a large range of color patterns depending on several factors, including age, sex, geographical location, environmental surroundings, behavioral mood and stress. The last factor includes the often very different patterns that are flashed out of the water when a fish is captured. Early life stages of Surinamese freshwater fish may look very different from the adult fish. Ponton and Mérigoux illustrate pigmentation patterns of early stages of the fishes of the Sinnamary River in French Guiana. In dark-water streams, black pigmentation patterns surrounded or supported by white, yellow, orange or red show up most clearly.

Keywords:chromatophore; fish colors; pigmentation patterns

10.1163/9789004207653_010
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