Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 243–251 | Cite as

A field study of chemotactic responses of the marine mud snail,Nassarius obsoletus

  • Jelle Atema
  • Gail D. Burd


Chemotactic responses of the salt marsh mud snailNassarius obsoktus were tested in the field, to the introduction of a crushed conspecific and to the sympatric gastropodLittorina littorea and the bivalveModiolus demissus. The snails responded with burial and escape to the conspecific stimulus, with strong attraction and feeding toM. demissus, and with attraction and feeding toL. littorea. In blank tests, the numbers of snails fluctuated only slightly during half-hour observation periods. An alarm substance appears to be liberated from woundedN. obsoletus which causes rapid disappearance of conspecific snails in an area of up to 50 cm radius.

Key words

Nassarius obsoletus Littorina littorea Modiolus demissus alarm pheromone 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jelle Atema
    • 1
  • Gail D. Burd
    • 1
  1. 1.Woods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleMassachusetts

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