Fast-starting after a breath: air-breathing motions are kinematically similar to escape responses in the catfish Hoplosternum littorale

Domenici, Paolo, Norin, Tommy, Bushnell, Peter G., Johansen, Jacob L., Skov, Peter Vilhelm, Svendsen, Morten B.S., Steffensen, John F., and Abe, Augusto S. (2015) Fast-starting after a breath: air-breathing motions are kinematically similar to escape responses in the catfish Hoplosternum littorale. Biology Open, 4 (1). pp. 79-85.

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

Download (544kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/bio.20149332
 
7
13


Abstract

Fast-starts are brief accelerations commonly observed in fish within the context of predator-prey interactions. In typical C-start escape responses, fish react to a threatening stimulus by bending their body into a C-shape during the first muscle contraction (i.e. stage 1) which provides a sudden acceleration away from the stimulus. Recently, similar C-starts have been recorded in fish aiming at a prey. Little is known about C-starts outside the context of predator-prey interactions, though recent work has shown that escape response can also be induced by high temperature. Here, we test the hypothesis that air-breathing fish may use C-starts in the context of gulping air at the surface. Hoplosternum littorale is an air-breathing freshwater catfish found in South America. Field video observations reveal that their air-breathing behaviour consists of airgulping at the surface, followed by a fast turn which re-directs the fish towards the bottom. Using high-speed video in the laboratory, we compared the kinematics of the turn immediately following airgulping performed by H. littorale in normoxia with those of mechanically-triggered C-start escape responses and with routine (i.e. spontaneous) turns. Our results show that air-breathing events overlap considerably with escape responses with a large stage 1 angle in terms of turning rates, distance covered and the relationship between these rates. Therefore, these two behaviours can be considered kinematically comparable, suggesting that air-breathing in this species is followed by escape-like C-start motions, presumably to minimise time at the surface and exposure to avian predators. These findings show that C-starts can occur in a variety of contexts in which fish may need to get away from areas of potential danger.

Item ID: 41883
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2046-6390
Keywords: air-breathing, behaviour, C-start, escape response, fish, kinematics
Additional Information:

© 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed.

Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2015 17:33
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060806 Animal Physiological Ecology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 13
Last 12 Months: 2
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page