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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Chemical defense: aquatic beetle (Dineutes hornii) vs. fish (Micropterus salmoides).

Captive largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) reject the gyrinid beetle, Dineutes hornii. They also reject edible items (mealworms) treated by topical addition of the norsesquiterpene gyrinidal, the principal component of the defensive secretion of the beetle. The bass' oral tolerance of gyrinidal varies broadly as a function of the gyrinidal dosage and the state of satiation of the fish. When taking a D. hornii or a gyrinidal-treated mealworm in the mouth, the fish subjects the item to an intensive oral flushing behavior, seemingly intended to rid the item of gyrinidal. The duration of oral flushing is itself a function of the gyrinidal dosage and the state of satiation of the bass. To counter oral flushing, D. hornii emits its secretion as a slow trickle. Duration of emission is slightly longer (1.5 min) than the time (1.3 min) invested by the bass in flushing a D. hornii before rejecting the beetle. We postulate that flush resistance may be a general feature of defensive chemical delivery systems in aquatic prey, given that oral flushing may be a common strategy of fish.[1]


  1. Chemical defense: aquatic beetle (Dineutes hornii) vs. fish (Micropterus salmoides). Eisner, T., Aneshansley, D.J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2000) [Pubmed]
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