Breaking news – fish mimics the mimic octopus

This is so very awesome you better sit down and pay attention. A fish has been caught in the act of mimicking that master of disguise – the mimic octopus.

We all know how clever octopus can be. And of all the brainy cephalopods, the mimic octopus stands out with it’s extraordinary repertoire of impersonations. They avoid getting eaten by pretending to be all sorts of other toxic, pesky critters like lionfish and sea snakes. Now it turns out there’s a fish that mimics the mimic octopus.

Last July, Godehard Kopp of the University of Gottingen, Germany, caught on camera a little jawfish hiding among the tentacles of a mimic octopus, blending in with similar brown and white markings. The black marble jawfish – not a new species – gains all the benefit of the ‘keep-clear’ signals sent out by the crafty octopus, who doesn’t seem bothered by its hitch hiker. See for yourself how difficult the little fish is to spot.


It’s the first time this association has been observed. The findings are published in the journal Coral Reefs.

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