Phagomimicry

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Phagomimicry is a defensive behaviour of sea hares, in which the animal ejects a mixture of chemicals, which mimic food, giving the sea-hare a chance to escape.[1] The typical defence response of the sea hare to a predator is to release two chemicals - ink from the ink gland and opaline from the opaline gland. While ink creates an dark, diffuse cloud in the water which disrupts the sensory perception of the predator by acting as a smokescreen and as a decoy, the opaline, which affects the senses dealing with feeding, causes the predator to instinctively attack the cloud of chemicals as if it were indeed food.[1][2]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Inman, Mason (29 March 2005). "Sea Hares Lose Their Lunch". Sciencemag.org. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  2. Derby, Charles D.; Kicklighter, Cynthia E.; Johnson, P. M. & Xu Zhang (29 March 2007). "Chemical Composition of Inks of Diverse Marine Molluscs Suggests Convergent Chemical Defenses" (PDF). Journal of Chemical Ecology. 2007 (33): 1105–1113. doi:10.1007/s10886-007-9279-0. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 March 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2015.