Marine Biology

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 87–93 | Cite as

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

  • G. E. Thomas
  • Ll. D. Gruffydd


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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature cited

  1. Ansell, A. D.: Leaping movements in the bivalvia. Proc. malac. Soc. Lond.38, 387–399 (1969).Google Scholar
  2. Baird, R. H.: On the swimming behaviour of scallops (Pecten maximus L.). Proc. malac. Soc. Lond.33, 67–71 (1958).Google Scholar
  3. — andF. A. Gibson: Underwater observations on escallop (Pecten maximus L.) beds. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K.35, 555–562 (1956).Google Scholar
  4. Buddenbrock, W. V. undI. Moller-Racke: Über den Lichtsinn vonPecten. Pubbl Staz. zool. Napoli24, 217–245 (1953.)Google Scholar
  5. Bullock, T. H.: Predator recognition and escape response of some intertidal gastropods in presence of starfish. Behaviour5, 130–140 (1953).Google Scholar
  6. Dakin, W. J.: The visceral ganglion ofPecten, with some notes on the physiology of the nervous system, and an enquiry into the innervation of the osphradium in the Lamellibranchiata. Mitt. zool. Stn Neapel20, 1–40 (1910).Google Scholar
  7. Dickie, L. M. andJ. C. Medcof: Causes of mass mortalities of scallops (Placopecten magellanicus) in the southwestern Gulf of St. Lawrence. J. Fish. Res. Bd Can.20, 451–482 (1963).Google Scholar
  8. Dodgson, R. W.: Report on mussel purification. Fishery Invest., Lond. (Ser. 2)10, 1–498 (1928).Google Scholar
  9. Fänge, R.: Toxic factors in starfishes. Sarsia10, 19–21 (1963).Google Scholar
  10. Feder, H. M.: Gastropod defensive responses and their effectiveness in reducing predation by starfishes. Ecology44, 505–512 (1963).Google Scholar
  11. —: Organisms responsive to predatory sea stars. Sarsia29, 371–394 (1967).Google Scholar
  12. — andM. Arvidsson: Studies on a sea star (Marthasterias glacialis) extract responsible for avoidance reactions in a gastropod (Buccinum undatum). Ark. Zool. (Ser. 2)19, 369–379 (1967).Google Scholar
  13. — andM. Christensen: Aspects of asteroid biology.In: Physiology of Echinodermata, pp 87–129. Ed. byR. A. Boolootian. New York: Interscience Publishers 1966.Google Scholar
  14. — andR. Lasker: Partial purification of a substance from starfish tube feet which elicits escape responses in gastropod molluscs. Life Sci.3, 1047–1051 (1964).Google Scholar
  15. Galtsoff, P. S.: The American oysterCrassostrea virginica Gmelin. Fishery Bull. Fish. Wild. Serv. U.S.64, 1–480 (1964).Google Scholar
  16. Gore, R. H.: Escape response onNassarius. Bull. mar. Sci.16 (3), 423–434 (1966).Google Scholar
  17. Hoffman, H.: Über den Flucht Reflex beiNassa. Z. verg. Physiol.11, 662–688 (1930).Google Scholar
  18. Kohn, A. J.: Chemoreception in gastropod molluscs. Am. Zool.1, 291–308 (1961).Google Scholar
  19. Land, M. F.: Activity in the optic nerve ofPecten maximus in response to changes in light intensity and to patterm and movements in the optical environment. J. exp. Biol.45, 83–99 (1966).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Lecomte, J.: Reactions de finite des pectens en présence des astérides. Vie Milieu3, 57–60 (1952).Google Scholar
  21. Mackie, A. M.: Avoidance reactions of marine invertebrates to either steroid glycosides of starfish or synthetic surface-active agents. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol.5 (1), 63–69 (1970).Google Scholar
  22. — andP. T. Grant: Avoidance reactions of a molluscBuccinum undatum to saponin-like surface-active substances in extracts of the starfishAsterias rubens andMarthasterias glacialis. Comp. Biochem. Physiol.26, 415–428 (1968).Google Scholar
  23. Margolin, A. S.: The mantle response ofDiodora aspera. Anim. Behav.12, 187–194 (1964a).Google Scholar
  24. —: A running response ofAcmaea to sea stars. Ecology45, 191–193 (1964b).Google Scholar
  25. Mortensen, T. H.: Handbook of the Echinoderms of the British Isles, 471 pp. London: Oxford University Press 1927.Google Scholar
  26. Olsen, A. M.: Underwater studies on the Tasmanian commercial scallop,Notovola meridionalis (Tate). (Lamellibranchiata: Pectinidae). Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. Res.6, 392–410 (1955).Google Scholar
  27. Owen, G.: Feeding.In: Physiology of Mollusca, Vol. 2, pp 1–51. Ed. byK. M. Wilbur andC. M. Yonge. New York: Academic Press 1966.Google Scholar
  28. Thomas, G. E.: The responses ofPecten maximus L. to various starfish species, M.Sc. thesis, University of Wales 1969.Google Scholar
  29. von Uexhull, J.: Die Pilgermuschel. Z. Biol.58, 305–332 (1912).Google Scholar
  30. Yarnall, J. L.: The responses ofTegula furnebralis to starfish and predatory snails. Veliger6, 56–58 (1964).Google Scholar
  31. Yasumoto, T., M. Tanaka andY. Hashimoto: Distribution of saponins in echinoderms. Bull. Jap. Soc. scient. Fish.32, 673–676 (1966).Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations