Ink from longfin inshore squid, Doryteuthis pealeii, as a chemical and visual defense against two predatory fishes, summer flounder, Paralichthys dentatus, and sea catfish, Ariopsis felis
Derby, Charles D.
Wolfe, Lanna S.
MetadataShow full item record
Chemical and visual defenses are used by many organisms to avoid being approached or eaten by predators. An example is inking molluscs—including gastropods such as sea hares and cephalopods such as squid, cuttlefish, and octopus—which release a colored ink upon approach or attack. Previous work showed that ink can protect molluscs through a combination of chemical, visual, and other effects. In this study, we examined the effects of ink from longfin inshore squid, Doryteuthis pealeii, on the behavior of two species of predatory fishes, summer flounder, Paralichthys dentatus, and sea catfish, Ariopsis felis. Using a cloud assay, we found that ink from longfin inshore squid affected the approach phase of predation by summer flounder, primarily through its visual effects. Using a food assay, we found that the ink affected the consummatory and ingestive phase of predation of both sea catfish and summer flounder, through the ink's chemical properties. Fractionation of ink showed that most of its deterrent chemical activity is associated with melanin granules, suggesting that either compounds adhering to these granules or melanin itself are the most biologically active. This work provides the basis for a comparative approach to identify deterrent molecules from inking cephalopods and to examine neural mechanisms whereby these chemicals affect behavior of fish, using the sea catfish as a chemosensory model.
Author Posting. © Marine Biological Laboratory, 2013. This article is posted here by permission of Marine Biological Laboratory for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Biological Bulletin 225 (2013): 152-160.