Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 285–295

Effects of Chemical Cues on Foraging in Damselfly Larvae, Enallagma antennatum


DOI: 10.1007/s10905-008-9125-4

Cite this article as:
Mortensen, L. & Richardson, J.M.L. J Insect Behav (2008) 21: 285. doi:10.1007/s10905-008-9125-4


Animals experiencing a trade-off between predation risk and resource acquisition must accurately predict ambient levels of predation risk to maximize fitness. We measure this trade-off explicitly in larvae of the damselfly Enallagma antennatum, comparing consumption rates in the presence of chemical cues from predators and injured prey. Damselflies distinguished among types of chemical cues based on species of prey injured or eaten. Injured coexisting heterospecific and unknown heterospecific chemical cues did not reduce foraging relative to starved predator cues, while cues arising from predators eating a coexisting heterospecific did decrease foraging. This study shows a cost in terms of reduced foraging in response to chemical cues and further defines the ability of prey to respond discerningly to chemical cues.


Antipredator behaviorchemical cuesdiet cuesdamselfliesforaging behaviorOdonata

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada