Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Fathead Minnows Learn to Recognize Heterospecific Alarm Cues They Detect in the Diet of a Known Predator

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Behaviour

A wide diversity of animals release chemical cues when attacked by a predator. Often these chemicals serve to warn other conspecifics, and in some cases heterospecifics, of danger, and hence have been termed alarm cues. Responses of animals to alarm cues produced by other species often need to be learned, yet mechanisms of learned recognition of heterospecific cues are not well understood. We tested whether fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) could learn to recognize heterospecific alarm cues when they detected the cues in the diet of a known predator. We exposed fathead minnows to chemical stimuli collected from a known predator, northern pike (Esox lucius) fed one of two unknown prey, stickleback (Culaea inconstans) or swordtails (Xiphophorous helleri). In subsequent tests, the minnows were exposed to either swordtail skin extract or stickleback skin extract. We found that minnows that were initially exposed to the pike fed stickleback subsequently responded to stickleback skin extract with an anti-predator response but did not respond to swordtail skin extract. Likewise, minnows that were initially exposed to the pike fed swordtails subsequently responded to swordtail skin extract with an anti-predator response but they did not respond to stickleback skin extract. These results clearly demonstrate that minnows learn the identity of heterospecific alarm cues when they detect those cues in the diet of a known predator. Learned recognition of heterospecific alarm cues has important implications for predator/prey interactions.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation