Event Title

Anti-Predator Responses of Fathead Minnows to the Presence of Alarm Pheromone

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

9-4-2012 10:00 AM

End Date

9-4-2012 11:30 AM

Student's Major

Biological Sciences

Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Mentor's Name

John Krenz

Mentor's Department

Biological Sciences

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Description

In some fish, alarm pheromones are released from skin cells when they are bitten by a predator, signaling nearby fish in danger. Such anti-predator defenses have been studied in the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), and some have suggested that the response to the pheromone is not instinctual, but rather fish must learn to associate it with a predation cue such as motion. The purpose of this study is to separate fatheads into two groups, one conditioned to associate movement with the presence of the pheromone and one with no conditioning. Observations will then be made on their responses to the pheromone stimulus alone and with the motion stimulus. If the minnow has learned to associate the alarm substance with motion (predation threat), then the minnow should exhibit a greater anti- predator response to the alarm substance, than the fish without the learning experience.

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Apr 9th, 10:00 AM Apr 9th, 11:30 AM

Anti-Predator Responses of Fathead Minnows to the Presence of Alarm Pheromone

CSU Ballroom

In some fish, alarm pheromones are released from skin cells when they are bitten by a predator, signaling nearby fish in danger. Such anti-predator defenses have been studied in the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), and some have suggested that the response to the pheromone is not instinctual, but rather fish must learn to associate it with a predation cue such as motion. The purpose of this study is to separate fatheads into two groups, one conditioned to associate movement with the presence of the pheromone and one with no conditioning. Observations will then be made on their responses to the pheromone stimulus alone and with the motion stimulus. If the minnow has learned to associate the alarm substance with motion (predation threat), then the minnow should exhibit a greater anti- predator response to the alarm substance, than the fish without the learning experience.

Recommended Citation

Thomas, Sarah. "Anti-Predator Responses of Fathead Minnows to the Presence of Alarm Pheromone." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 9, 2012.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2012/poster-session-A/21