The functional roles of passive electroreception in non-electric fishes

Collin, Shaun P. and Whitehead, Darryl (2004) The functional roles of passive electroreception in non-electric fishes. Animal Biology, 54 1: 1-25. doi:10.1163/157075604323010024

Author Collin, Shaun P.
Whitehead, Darryl
Title The functional roles of passive electroreception in non-electric fishes
Journal name Animal Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1570-7555
Publication date 2004-01-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1163/157075604323010024
Volume 54
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 25
Total pages 25
Place of publication Leiden
Publisher Brill Academic Publishers
Language eng
Subject C1
270604 Comparative Physiology
780105 Biological sciences
060805 Animal Neurobiology
Abstract Passive electroreception is a complex and specialised sense found in a large range of aquatic vertebrates primarily designed for the detection of weak bioelectric fields. Particular attention has traditionally focused on cartilaginous fishes, but a range of teleost and non-teleost fishes from a diversity of habitats have also been examined. As more species are investigated, it has become apparent that the role of electroreception in fishes is not restricted to locating prey, but is utilised in other complex behaviours. This paper presents the various functional roles of passive electroreception in non-electric fishes, by reviewing much of the recent research on the detection of prey in the context of differences in species' habitat (shallow water, deep-sea, freshwater and saltwater). A special case study on the distribution and neural groupings of ampullary organs in the omnihaline bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas, is also presented and reveals that prey-capture, rather than navigation, may be an important determinant of pore distribution. The discrimination between potential predators and conspecifics and the role of bioelectric stimuli in social behaviour is discussed, as is the ability to migrate over short or long distances in order to locate environmentally favourable conditions. The various theories proposed regarding the importance and mediation of geomagnetic orientation by either an electroreceptive and/or a magnetite-based sensory system receives particular attention. The importance of electroreception to many species is emphasised by highlighting what still remains to be investigated, especially with respect to the physical, biochemical and neural properties of the ampullary organs and the signals that give rise to the large range of observed behaviours.
Keyword Zoology
Ampullae Of Lorenzini
Electric Fields
Passive Electroreception
Elasmobranch Electrosensory System
Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks
Ampullary Organs
Ion Channels
Microampullary Organs
Salmontail Catfish
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
2005 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 45 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 53 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 15:21:54 EST