Document Detail

Acidity enhances the effectiveness of active chemical defensive secretions of sea hares, Aplysia californica, against spiny lobsters, Panulirus interruptus.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17912533     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Sea hares such as Aplysia californica, gastropod molluscs lacking a protective shell, can release a purple cloud of chemicals when vigorously attacked by predators. This active chemical defense is composed of two glandular secretions, ink and opaline, both of which contain an array of compounds. This secretion defends sea hares against predators such as California spiny lobsters Panulirus interruptus via multiple mechanisms, one of which is phagomimicry, in which secretions containing feeding chemicals attract and distract predators toward the secretion and away from the sea hare. We show here that ink and opaline are highly acidic, both having a pH of approximately 5. We examined if the acidity of ink and opaline affects their phagomimetic properties. We tested behavioral and electrophysiological responses of chemoreceptor neurons in the olfactory and gustatory organs of P. interruptus, to ink and opaline of A. californica within their natural range of pH values, from approximately 5 to 8. Both behavioral and electrophysiological responses to ink and opaline were enhanced at low pH, and low pH alone accounted for most of this effect. Our data suggest that acidity enhances the phagomimetic chemical defense of sea hares.
Shkelzen Shabani; Seymanur Yaldiz; Luan Vu; Charles D Derby
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2007-10-02
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of comparative physiology. A, Neuroethology, sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology     Volume:  193     ISSN:  0340-7594     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Comp. Physiol. A Neuroethol. Sens. Neural. Behav. Physiol.     Publication Date:  2007 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-11-21     Completed Date:  2008-02-14     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101141792     Medline TA:  J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1195-204     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biology, Brains and Behavior Program, and Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Action Potentials / drug effects,  physiology
Amino Acids / secretion
Aplysia / physiology*
Behavior, Animal / physiology
Chemoreceptor Cells / physiology
Complex Mixtures / chemistry,  metabolism,  toxicity*
Escape Reaction / physiology*
Exocrine Glands / chemistry*
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
L-Amino Acid Oxidase / secretion*
Neurons, Afferent / drug effects
Olfactory Bulb / cytology
Palinuridae / physiology
Predatory Behavior / physiology*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Amino Acids; 0/Complex Mixtures; EC Acid Oxidase

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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