Ultimate predators: lionfish have evolved to circumvent prey risk assessment abilities

Lönnstedt, Oona M., and McCormick, Mark I. (2013) Ultimate predators: lionfish have evolved to circumvent prey risk assessment abilities. PLoS ONE, 8 (10). e75781. pp. 1-8.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (634kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0...
 
25
77


Abstract

Invasive species cause catastrophic alterations to communities worldwide by changing the trophic balance within ecosystems. Ever since their introduction in the mid 1980's common red lionfish, Pterois volitans, are having dramatic impacts on the Caribbean ecosystem by displacing native species and disrupting food webs. Introduced lionfish capture prey at extraordinary rates, altering the composition of benthic communities. Here we demonstrate that the extraordinary success of the introduced lionfish lies in its capacity to circumvent prey risk assessment abilities as it is virtually undetectable by prey species in its native range. While experienced prey damselfish, Chromis viridis, respond with typical antipredator behaviours when exposed to a common predatory rock cod (Cephalopholis microprion) they fail to visibly react to either the scent or visual presentation of the red lionfish, and responded only to the scent (not the visual cue) of a lionfish of a different genus, Dendrochirus zebra. Experienced prey also had much higher survival when exposed to the two non-invasive predators compared to P. volitans. The cryptic nature of the red lionfish has enabled it to be destructive as a predator and a highly successful invasive species.

Item ID: 31754
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information:

Copyright: © 2013 Lönnstedt, McCormick. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Australian Museum
Research Data: http://dx.doi.org/10.4225/28/5a713fd9b1f94
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2014 09:38
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts) @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 77
Last 12 Months: 16
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page