Escape trajectories of the rockpool prawn (Palaemon elegans) in response to visual and mechanosensory stimuli

Andrew J. Guerin, Douglas M. Neil
2015 Marine and Freshwater Behaviour & Physiology  
Newcastle University ePrints -eprint.ncl.ac.uk Guerin AJ, Neil DM. Escape trajectories of the rockpool prawn (Palaemon elegans) in response to visual and mechanosensory stimuli. Abstract Small crustaceans, such as the rockpool prawn Palaemon elegans Rathke, respond to the approach of predators by executing a version of the crustacean tail-flip response, known as the 'jack-knife'. We used two types of stimulus to investigate the escape behaviour of P. elegans, specifically the escape
more » ... escape trajectories taken by individual prawns. The first stimulus consisted of mechanosensory cues, while the second stimulus included visual and mechanosensory cues. Responses to the two stimulus types differed, with the combined cues from the second stimulus type resulting in escapes over longer distances, and with greater directionality, compared to those following purely mechanosensory stimulation. Altering the direction of approach of the 'predator' affected the proportion of escapes that were to the side opposite from the eliciting stimulus, and strongly influenced escape trajectories. Such unpredictability in the escape direction of P. elegans may be an example of so-called 'Protean' behaviour.
doi:10.1080/10236244.2015.1027541 fatcat:pd5fczr2uvhxleiw7trwjtt26y