Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 107, Issue 1, pp 67–76 | Cite as

Behavior of sea anemones evoked by the alarm pheromone anthopleurine

  • Nathan R. Howe


The sea anemoneAnthopleura elegantissima undergoes a characteristic response when exposed to anthopleurine, a recently isolated alarm pheromone. Aboral longitudinal tentacle muscles and mesenterial retractor muscles undergo a mechanically summed, facilitated series of discrete, rapid, radially-symmetrical contractions, usually followed by a slow, smooth contraction (Figs. 1, 2, 5, 6). The rapid contractions of all retractor muscles are probably simultaneous (Fig. 3). The marginal sphincter contracts at a slower rate (Fig. 2). The alarm response of mesenterial retractor muscles to anthopleurine closely resembles reflex withdrawal in other anemones and is probably mediated by the through-conducting system. Anthopleurine receptors are located primarily on the tentacles. Of ten other species of anemones tested onlyAnthopleura xanthogrammica shows an alarm response to anthopleurine (Table 1).


Slow Rate Characteristic Response Alarm Pheromone Retractor Muscle Alarm Response 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathan R. Howe
    • 1
  1. 1.Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford UniversityPacific GroveUSA

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