Ventilation rate of cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis, in response to visual stimuli

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1996
Authors:J. G. Boal, Ni J. N.
Date Published:Oct
ISBN Number:0042-3211
Accession Number:ISI:A1996VM10900003
Keywords:Cephalopod, cuttlefish, Sepia, Sepia officinalis

Ventilation rate can provide information about the detectability and salience of stimuli. Octopus ventilation rate responds to chemical stimuli; here we tested whether cuttlefish ventilation rate is sensitive to visual stimuli. We measured the changes in ventilation rate of juvenile Sepia officinalis in response to a general disturbance (being moved to a new tank), to the sight of prey items (live fish and live crabs), and to the sight of conspecifics (familiar and unfamiliar). Ventilation rate increased relative to controls in ail cases, but most to general disturbance. Responses to prey items were stronger than reponses to conspecifics, a finding consistent with the semi-solitary lives of free-living juvenile cuttlefish. Although cuttlefish prefer crabs to fish and hunt them differently, no differences in responses were found between types of prey. Responses to familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics also did not differ. We conclude that analysis of ventilation rates is a good method for measuring the perception and relative significance of broad classes of visual stimuli in cuttlefish.

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