Background matching in the brown shrimp Crangon crangon : adaptive camouflage and behavioural-plasticity

Siegenthaler, A, Mastin, A ORCID:, Dufaut, C, Mondal, D ORCID: and Benvenuto, C ORCID: 2018, 'Background matching in the brown shrimp Crangon crangon : adaptive camouflage and behavioural-plasticity' , Scientific Reports, 8 , p. 3292.

PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (2MB) | Preview
[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (3MB)


A combination of burrowing behaviour and very efficient background matching makes the brown shrimp Crangon crangon almost invisible to potential predators and preys. This raises questions on how shrimp succeed in concealing themselves in the heterogeneous and dynamic estuarine habitats they inhabit and what type of environmental variables and behavioural factors affect their colour change abilities. Using a series of behavioural experiments, we show that the brown shrimp is capable of repeated fast colour adaptations (20% change in dark pigment cover within one hour) and that its background matching ability is mainly influenced by illumination and sediment colour. Novel insights are provided on the occurrence of non-adaptive (possibly stress) responses to background changes after long-time exposure to a constant background colour or during unfavourable conditions for burying. Shrimp showed high levels of intra- and inter-individual variation, demonstrating a complex balance between behavioural-plasticity and environmental adaptation. As such, the study of crustacean colour changes represents a valuable opportunity to investigate colour adaptations in dynamic habitats and can help us to identify the mayor environmental and behavioural factors influencing the evolution of animal background matching.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Scientific Reports
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
Related URLs:
Funders: Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust
Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2018 09:04
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 22:50

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year