National Geographic : 2005 May
fake eyes, and stealth aid survival its pectoral fins (below), warning intruders of its ven omous spines. It will also flash this display in hopes of persuading a potential mate of its vigor. Closely related, the zebra lionfish and twinspot lionfish (two center photos at left) also exhibit species-specific pectoral fins when threat ened or amorous. Lionfish also seem to use these flags to confuse and herd prey. Like the twinspot lionfish, crabeye gobies (bottom left) have fin markings called dou ble eyespots that mimic huge eyes. These 'eyes' closely match the size and spacing of eyes on fish like groupers, which eat the fish that eat gobies. So this is a tricky way for tiny gobies to scare off potential predators-by mak ing them think they're facing their own worst enemies.