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Fishes 2017, 2(3), 14; doi:10.3390/fishes2030014

Discovery of an Earliest-Stage “Mystery Circle” and Development of the Structure Constructed by Pufferfish, Torquigener albomaculosus (Pisces: Tetraodontidae)

1
Coastal Branch of Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba, 123 Yoshio, Katsuura, Chiba 299-5242, Japan
2
Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Osaka University, Yamadaoka 1-5, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
3
Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, 1-3 Machikaneyama, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-8531, Japan
4
Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, 1-3 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract

Male pufferfish (Torquigener albomaculosus) construct “mystery circles”, geometric circular structures with radially aligned peaks and valleys, on sandy seabeds for reproduction. We discovered an earliest-stage mystery circle composed of dozens of irregular depressions. The structure changed to a primitive circular form with radially aligned valleys and a circular depression in the central area on day 2. The number of valleys increased, and the radius of the structure was much smaller than that of the final structure. These features were observed from days 2 to 4, considered the early stage of construction. The mystery circle had radially aligned peaks and valleys with a central flat area, while the radius and the differences in elevation between the peaks and valleys were increasing. These features, which were observed from days 5 to 8, were considered the middle stage of construction. On day 9, the mystery circle was completed. An irregular pattern was formed in the central area, and the radially aligned peaks were decorated with shell and coral fragments. These are the first recorded observations of construction of a mystery circle from the earliest stage. View Full-Text
Keywords: reproductive behavior; spawning ecology; paternal egg care; three-dimensional morphogenesis; Amami-Oshima Island reproductive behavior; spawning ecology; paternal egg care; three-dimensional morphogenesis; Amami-Oshima Island
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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    Description: Supplementary video 1. Digging behavior of male Torquigener albomaculosus in the earliest stage. The male presses his body against the sandy bottom and flaps his pectoral and caudal fins rapidly. Video by Hiroshi Kawase.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kawase, H.; Mizuuchi, R.; Shin, H.; Kitajima, Y.; Hosoda, K.; Shimizu, M.; Iwai, D.; Kondo, S. Discovery of an Earliest-Stage “Mystery Circle” and Development of the Structure Constructed by Pufferfish, Torquigener albomaculosus (Pisces: Tetraodontidae). Fishes 2017, 2, 14.

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