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Chemical compounds related to the predation risk posed by malacophagous ground beetles alter self-maintenance behavior of naive slugs (Deroceras reticulatum)

Bursztyka, Piotr and Saffray, Dominique and Lafont-Lecuelle, Céline and Brin, Antoine and Pageat, Patrick Chemical compounds related to the predation risk posed by malacophagous ground beetles alter self-maintenance behavior of naive slugs (Deroceras reticulatum). (2013) PLoS ONE, 8 (11). 1-11. ISSN 1932-6203

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0079361

Abstract

Evidence that terrestrial gastropods are able to detect chemical cues from their predators is obvious yet scarce, despite the scientific relevance of the topic to enhancing our knowledge in this area. This study examines the influence of cuticular extracts from predacious ground beetles (Carabus auratus, Carabus hispanus, Carabus nemoralis and Carabus coriaceus), and a neutral insect species (Musca domestica) on the shelter-seeking behavior of naive slugs (Deroceras reticulatum). Slugs, known to have a negative phototactic response, were exposed to light, prompting them to make a choice between either a shelter treated with a cuticular extract or a control shelter treated with pure ethyl alcohol. Their behavioral responses were recorded for one hour in order to determine their first shelter choice, their final position, and to compare the percentage of time spent in the control shelters with the time spent in the treated shelters.The test proved to be very effective: slugs spent most of the experiment in a shelter. They spent significantly more time in the control shelter than in the shelter treated with either C. nemoralis (Z = 2.43; p = 0.0151; Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks test) or C. coriaceus cuticular extracts (Z = 3.31; p<0.01; Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks test), with a seemingly stronger avoidance effect when presented with C. coriaceus extracts. The other cuticular extracts had no significant effect on any of the behavioral items measured. Although it cannot be entirely excluded that the differences observed, are partly due to the intrinsic properties of the vehicle employed to build the cuticular extracts, the results suggest that slugs can innately discriminate amongst different potential predators and adjust their behavioral response according to the relevance of the threat conveyed by their predator’s chemical cues.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Public Library of Science editor. The definitive version is available at http://journals.plos.org/ The original PDF of the article can be found at http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0079361/00406031
HAL Id:hal-01401421
ProdINRA Id:219200
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - INRA (FRANCE)
Other partners > Institut de Recherche en Sémiochimie et Ethologie Appliquée - IRSEA (FRANCE)
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Deposited On:08 Nov 2016 11:38

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