Population Differences in Responses of Fathead Minnows (Pimephales promelas) to Visual and Chemical Stimuli from Predators
Fathead minnows (Cyprinidae: Pimephales promelas) from a population that is sympatric with predatory northern pike (Esocidae: Esox lucius) exhibited a fright reaction to the visual stimulus of a live northern pike significantly more often than minnows from a population that is allopatric with pike. The fright response included increased use of shelter, dashing and freezing. Minnows from the pike‐sympatric population also exhibited a significantly greater fright response, measured as a reduction in activity, following exposure to chemical stimuli from pike (i.e. water from a tank that had contained a pike) than did minnows from the pike‐allopatric population. There was no significant change in activity by minnows from either population following exposure to chemical stimuli from nonpiscivorous peacock gudgeons (Eleotridae: Tateurndina ocellicauda), suggesting that the difference between the two populations is specific to stimuli from pike rather than a general difference in response to chemical stimuli from heterospecific fishes. Fathead minnows apparently utilize at least a two‐tiered predator recognition system that incorporates both visual and chemical cues.
Mathis, Alicia, Douglas P. Chivers, and R. Jan F. Smith. "Population differences in responses of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) to visual and chemical stimuli from predators." Ethology 93, no. 1 (1993): 31-40.