Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 202, Issue 7, pp 489–501 | Cite as

Loudness-dependent behavioral responses and habituation to sound by the longfin squid (Doryteuthis pealeii)

  • T. Aran MooneyEmail author
  • Julia E. Samson
  • Andrea D. Schlunk
  • Samantha Zacarias
Original Paper


Sound is an abundant cue in the marine environment, yet we know little regarding the frequency range and levels which induce behavioral responses in ecologically key marine invertebrates. Here we address the range of sounds that elicit unconditioned behavioral responses in squid Doryteuthis pealeii, the types of responses generated, and how responses change over multiple sound exposures. A variety of response types were evoked, from inking and jetting to body pattern changes and fin movements. Squid responded to sounds from 80 to 1000 Hz, with response rates diminishing at the higher and lower ends of this frequency range. Animals responded to the lowest sound levels in the 200–400 Hz range. Inking, an escape response, was confined to the lower frequencies and highest sound levels; jetting was more widespread. Response latencies were variable but typically occurred after 0.36 s (mean) for jetting and 0.14 s for body pattern changes; pattern changes occurred significantly faster. These results demonstrate that squid can exhibit a range of behavioral responses to sound include fleeing, deimatic and protean behaviors, all of which are associated with predator evasion. Response types were frequency and sound level dependent, reflecting a relative loudness concept to sound perception in squid.


Noise Bioacoustics Soundscape Auditory scene Invertebrate 



We thank Roger Hanlon and members of the Hanlon Lab for providing initial advice. Thank you also to Vicke Starczak, Jesús Pineda, Scott Gallager and Michael Moore from WHOI for suggestions on experimental design, analyses and facilities space. Members of Mooney’s Lab and WHOI assisted with the experiments at various stages, including Margot Wilsterman and Max Kaplan. Rick Galat, Joe, Ed, Steve Allsopp, Kristopher Newhall and Jim Dunn helped make the tank and seawater adjustments. Thanks to Sander Kranenbarg, Henk Schipper and Kees Voesenek from the Experimental Zoology Group at the Wageningen University for their help with the analyses program. This work was supported by WHOI’s Ocean Life Institute.

Supplementary material

359_2016_1092_MOESM1_ESM.docx (29 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 30kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Aran Mooney
    • 1
    Email author
  • Julia E. Samson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrea D. Schlunk
    • 1
  • Samantha Zacarias
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentWoods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleUSA
  2. 2.Biology DepartmentUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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