Better red than dead? Potential aposematism in a harpacticoid copepod, Metis holothuriae

Gilby, Ben L., Burfeind, Dana D. and Tibbetts, Ian R. (2012) Better red than dead? Potential aposematism in a harpacticoid copepod, Metis holothuriae. Marine Environmental Research, 74 73-76. doi:10.1016/j.marenvres.2011.12.001


Author Gilby, Ben L.
Burfeind, Dana D.
Tibbetts, Ian R.
Title Better red than dead? Potential aposematism in a harpacticoid copepod, Metis holothuriae
Formatted title
Better red than dead? Potential aposematism in a harpacticoid copepod, Metis holothuriae
Journal name Marine Environmental Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0141-1136
1879-0291
Publication date 2012-03
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.marenvres.2011.12.001
Volume 74
Start page 73
End page 76
Total pages 4
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The conspicuous, red harpacticoid Metis holothuriae grows to a large size (∼600 μm length) and accounts for 29.51% of the numerical meiofaunal abundance within blooms of the toxic, benthic cyanobacterium Lyngbya majuscula. Despite this, the meiobenthic juvenile trumpeter whiting, Sillago maculata, consume M. holothuriae at only 2.16% of numerical meiofaunal biomass within simulated blooms, despite their apparent ease of predation. We compared the predation rates of copepods that had been dyed red (primarily Canuellidae and not known to be toxic) to M. holothuriae by S. maculata, to assess whether avoidance by predators is possibly a response to an aposematic signal conveyed by the colouration of the copepods and reinforced by their potential toxicity from exposure to L. majuscula. M. holothuriae were again strongly avoided, with only 6.25% of M. holothuriae consumed, whereas dyed copepods were consumed with relative alacrity, indicating that predation was not deterred by colouration alone. M. holothuriae copepodites were consumed in preference to adult individuals, supporting the idea that toxin accumulation or other factors relating to maturation might explain avoidance by benthivorous fishes.
Keyword Aposematism
Predation
Fish
Zooplankton
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 11 December 2011. Published under Short communication.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
ERA White List Items
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Fri, 23 Mar 2012, 17:47:00 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences