Field behavior and adaptive strategies of appendicularians (Chordata: Tunicata)
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- Alldredge, A.L. Marine Biology (1976) 38: 29. doi:10.1007/BF00391483
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The behavior of 7 species of appendicularians from the family Oikopleuridae was observed using SCUBA in the Gulf of California and the Florida Current. The frequency and orientation of feeding and the pattern of swimming while within the house varied considerably among species. Appendicularians expanded new houses in 1 1/2 to 5 min. House-expansion behavior was complex and variable among species. Appendicularians rarely abandoned the house in response to predation. Predators included the sergeant major (Abudefduf sp.), medusae, chaetognaths and ctenophores. The abandonment of the house was based on a cost-benefit behavior strategy which maximized time spent inside the house while minimizing predation and energy investment in house secretion. Strategies of predator avoidance are discussed.