Ventilation responses to predator odors and conspecific chemical alarm cues in the frillfin goby

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Pereira, Rafaela Torres [UNESP]
Leutz, Juliane de Abreu Campos Machado [UNESP]
Valença-Silva, Graziela [UNESP]
Barcellos, Leonardo José Gil
Barreto, Rodrigo Egydio [UNESP]
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The chemical detection of predation risk is direct when based on predator odors, or indirect when an injured conspecific or heterospecific signal it. Physiological adjustments may be necessary in parallel to defensive reactions to cope with an imminent risk. Here, we tested the effects of predator odors and conspecific chemical alarm cues in ventilation response (VR) of frillfin goby, Bathygobius soporator, because this response increases oxygen uptake for supporting behavioral tasks. No VR change was detected in response to odors of predators (catfish) that fed on conspecific, heterospecific fish (tilapia), or were deprived of food and to non-predator (tilapia) that fed chow (non-specific odor control) and odor eluent. The goby's VR, however, increased in response to conspecific alarm cues, but not to heterospecific cues or eluent. Clearly, the VR response in fish depends on the nature of the chemical cue. It is in line with ‘threat-sensitive hypothesis’ as a chemical cue from an injured prey might mean a foraging predator, whilst the mere presence of a predator odor might not. In addition, because VR can increase, decrease or remains unchanged in response to predation risk in other fish species (including other gobies), we reinforces the species-specific chracteristic of VR responses in fish, regarding the results obtained here for frillfin gobies.
Alarm substance, Antipredator behavior, Chemical communication, Stress response, Use of public information
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Physiology and Behavior, v. 179, p. 319-323.