Marine Biology

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 87–93

The types of escape reactions elicited in the scallopPecten maximus by selected sea-star species

  • G. E. Thomas
  • Ll. D. Gruffydd

DOI: 10.1007/BF02026771

Cite this article as:
Thomas, G.E. & Gruffydd, L.D. Mar. Biol. (1971) 10: 87. doi:10.1007/BF02026771


Pecten maximus (L.), when stimulated by contact with various sea-star species, displays several fairly distinct types of responses. These range from valve closure, through ‘jumping’ to the well-known swimming escape reaction. These responses are described in detail. The most violent responses are evoked by contact with the predatory sea starsAsterias rubens,Astropecten irregularis, andMarthasterias glacialis, whereas non-predatory sea stars may evoke minor reactions or none at all. It is suggested that, in this instance, the adaptive value of the various types of responses lies not only in enabling the scallop to escape from predators, but also in preventing needless and even hazardous movement away from the refuge of its prepared depression in the substratum when confronted by the less harmful species of sea stars. Crude chemical extracts of all sea stars always evoked escape reactions, but only those ofAsterias rubens andAstropecten irregularis caused the full swimming response.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. E. Thomas
    • 1
  • Ll. D. Gruffydd
    • 1
  1. 1.N.E.R.C. Marine Invertebrate Biology UnitMarine Science LaboratoriesMenai BridgeUK
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of GhanaGhanaAfrica