US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Journal of Fish Biology (2014) 84, 1490–1502 doi:10.1111/jfb.12374


This article is a U.S. government work, and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


Using semi-natural enclosures, this study investigated (1) whether adult sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus show avoidance of damage-released conspecific cues, damage-released heterospecific cues and predator cues and (2) whether this is a general response to injured heterospecific fishes or a specific response to injured P. marinus. Ten replicate groups of 10 adult P. marinus, separated by sex, were exposed to one of the following nine stimuli: deionized water (control), extracts prepared from adult P. marinus, decayed adult P. marinus (conspecific stimuli), sympatric white sucker Catostomus commersonii, Amazon sailfin catfish Pterygoplichthys pardalis (heterospecific stimuli), 2-phenylethylamine (PEA HCl) solution, northern water snake Nerodia sipedon washing, human saliva (predator cues) and an adult P. marinus extract and human saliva combination (a damage-released conspecific cue and a predator cue). Adult P. marinus showed a significant avoidance response to the adult P. marinus extract as well as to C. commersonii, human saliva, PEA and the adult P. marinus extract and human saliva combination. For mobile P. marinus, the N. sipedon washing induced behaviour consistent with predator inspection. Exposure to the P. pardalis extract did not induce a significant avoidance response during the stimulus release period. Mobile adult female P. marinus showed a stronger avoidance behaviour than mobile adult male P. marinus in response to the adult P. marinus extract and the adult P. marinus extract and human saliva combination. The findings support the continued investigation of natural damage-released alarm cue and predator-based repellents for the behavioural manipulation of P. marinus populations in the Laurentian Great Lakes.