Trauma Communication in Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)
Among the animals that are adapted to limited light are the catfishes. The North American channel catfish, which was used as the subject of this investigation, is an ostariophysan. These fishes are known to possess club cells, and most members produce alarm substance (Frisch 1938, 1941, Pfeiffer 1977). Limitation of visual communication indicated by the catfish’s habitat and specific anatomical features of the channel catfish, such as the presence of chemosensory cells covering the body and a high concentration of these cells on parts of the body such as the barbels, is presumably the result of favored selection for this method of communication (Todd 1971). Catfishes are capable of producing and recognizing individual specific pheromones. Through these pheromones a bullhead catfish, I. nebulosus can identify not only the species and sex of a conspecific, but also its age or size, reproductive state, and hierarchical social status (Lowe-McCannell 1975).
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