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Visual cues contribute to predator detection in anuran larvae


Hettyey, A; Rolli, F; Thürlimann, N; Züricher, A C; Van Buskirk, J (2012). Visual cues contribute to predator detection in anuran larvae. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 106(4):820-827.

Abstract

The ability of prey to detect predators directly affects their probability of survival. Chemical cues are known to be important for predator detection in aquatic environments, but the role of other potential cues is controversial. We tested for changes in behaviour of Rana temporaria tadpoles in response to chemical, visual, acoustic, and hydraulic cues originating from dragonfly larvae (Aeshna cyanea) and fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus). The greatest reduction in tadpole activity occurred when all cues were available, but activity was also significantly reduced by visual cues only. We did not find evidence for tadpoles lowering their activity in response to acoustic and hydraulic cues. There was no spatial avoidance of predators in our small experimental containers. The results show that anuran larvae indeed use vision for predator detection, while acoustic and hydraulic cues may be less important. Future studies of predator-induced responses of tadpoles should not only concentrate on chemical cues but also consider visual stimuli.

Abstract

The ability of prey to detect predators directly affects their probability of survival. Chemical cues are known to be important for predator detection in aquatic environments, but the role of other potential cues is controversial. We tested for changes in behaviour of Rana temporaria tadpoles in response to chemical, visual, acoustic, and hydraulic cues originating from dragonfly larvae (Aeshna cyanea) and fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus). The greatest reduction in tadpole activity occurred when all cues were available, but activity was also significantly reduced by visual cues only. We did not find evidence for tadpoles lowering their activity in response to acoustic and hydraulic cues. There was no spatial avoidance of predators in our small experimental containers. The results show that anuran larvae indeed use vision for predator detection, while acoustic and hydraulic cues may be less important. Future studies of predator-induced responses of tadpoles should not only concentrate on chemical cues but also consider visual stimuli.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:12 Sep 2012 09:11
Last Modified:24 Sep 2018 07:58
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0024-4066
Funders:Swiss National Science Foundation
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8312.2012.01923.x
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project TitleSwiss National Science Foundation

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