Advertisement

Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 147–152 | Cite as

Distance-to-cover and the escape decisions of an African cichlid fish, Melanochromis chipokae

  • Lawrence M. Dill
Article

Synopsis

The risk to a prey individual in an encounter with a predator increases as the distance to protective cover increases. Prey should therefore initiate their flight to cover at longer distances from an approaching predator (i.e., sooner) and/or flee at greater velocities, as the distance to cover increases. These predictions were tested with an African cichlid fish, Melanochromis chipokae presented with a looming stimulus simulating an attacking predator. The fish varied their flight initiation distance as predicted, but there was no significant effect of distance-to-cover on escape velocity. Nevertheless, the cichlids appeared to choose a combination of flight initiation distance and escape velocity which ensured they reached cover with a constant temporal ‘margin of safety’.

Key words

Predation risk Flight initiation distance Escape velocity Refuge cover 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References cited

  1. Dill, L.M. 1973. An avoidance learning sub-model for a general predation model. Oecologia (Berlin) 13: 291–312.Google Scholar
  2. Dill, L.M. 1974a. The escape response of the zebra danio (Brachydanio rerio). I. The stimulus for escape. Anim. Behav. 22: 711–722.Google Scholar
  3. Dill, L.M. 1974b. The escape response of the zebra danio (Brachydanio rerio). II. The effect of experience. Anim. Behav. 22: 723–730.Google Scholar
  4. Dill, L.M. & R. Houtman. 1989. The influence of distance to refuge on flight initiation distance in the gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis). Can. J. Zool. 67: 233–235.Google Scholar
  5. Dill, L.M. & R.C. Ydenberg. 1977. The group size-flight distance relationship in waterstriders (Gerris remigis). Can. J. Zool. 65: 223–226.Google Scholar
  6. Freyer, G. & T.D. Iles. 1972. The cichlid fishes of the Great Lakes of Africa. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City. 641 pp.Google Scholar
  7. Grant, J.W.A. & D.L.G. Noakes. 1987. Escape behaviour and use of cover by young-of-the-year brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 44: 1390–1396.Google Scholar
  8. Johnson, D.S. 1975. More new Malawi cichlids. Today's Aquarist 2: 15–26.Google Scholar
  9. Kleinbaum, G. & L.L. Kupper. 1978. Applied regression analysis and other multivariate methods. Duxbury Press, N. Scituate. 556 pp.Google Scholar
  10. Sokal, R.R. & F.J. Rohlf. 1969. Biometry. W.H. Freeman, San Francisco. 776 pp.Google Scholar
  11. Ydenberg, R.C. & L.M. Dill. 1986. The economics of fleeing from predators. Adv. Study Behav. 16: 229–249.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence M. Dill
    • 1
  1. 1.Behavioural Ecology Research Group, Department of Biological SciencesSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

Personalised recommendations