Host location by larvae of a parasitic barnacle: Larval chemotaxis and plume tracking in flow

Zohar Pasternak, Bernd Blasius, Avigdor Abelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Numerous studies describe stimulation and/or enhancement of larval settlement by distance chemoreception in response to chemical factors emitted by conspecific adults, host and prey species and microbial films. However, active upstream tracking of odor plumes, needed in order to locate specific, spatially limited settlement sites, has thus far received little scientific attention. This study examines host location in flow and still water by larvae of the parasitic barnacle Heterosaccus dollfusi, which inhabits the brachyuran crab Charybdis longicollis. Experiments included analysis of larval motion patterns under four conditions: still water, inflow, in still water with waterborne host metabolites and in flow with host metabolites. Our results show that H. dollfusi larvae are capable of actively and effectively locating their host in still water and in flow, using chemotaxis and rheotaxis and modifying their swimming pattern, direction, velocity, determination and turning rate to accommodate efficient navigation in changing environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-493
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Plankton Research
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2004

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