Chemical defences in embryos and juveniles of two common Antarctic sea stars and an isopod

Academic Article


  • The brooded embryos and/or juveniles of the sea stars Neosmilaster georgianus (Studer, 1885) and Lysasterias perrieri (Studer, 1885) and the isopod Glyptonotus antarcticus (Eights, 1853) were examined for their acceptability using the sympatric sea star Odontaster validus (Koehler, 1906) as a predator. Organic extracts were prepared from embryos of both sea stars and juveniles of Lyasterias perrieri and Glyptonotus antarcticus and tested in alginate food pellets to confirm whether lack of acceptability was chemically based. We found both intact whole embryos and juveniles of the sea star Neosmilaster georgianus were not acceptable to Odontaster validus. A methanol extract of the embryos was palatable. This could be the result of either the sequestration of deterrent chemicals within embryos or the presence of noxious compounds that were not extractable in methanol. Embryos and juveniles of the sea star Lysasterias perrieri were not acceptable to sea stars. Food pellets containing methanol extracts of unacceptable embryos were deterrent against sea stars, suggesting a chemical defence. Juvenile brooded isopods (Glyptonotus antarcticus) were also found to be unacceptable in sea star feeding bioassays. Significant rejection of alginate pellets containing a lipophilic dichloromethane methanol extract of juveniles indicated that this lack of acceptability was chemically based. Our study provides further support for chemical defences in the offspring of brooding lecithotrophic Antarctic marine invertebrates.
  • Published In

  • Antarctic Science  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • McClintock JB; Mahon AR; Peters KJ; Amsler CD; Baker BJ
  • Start Page

  • 339
  • End Page

  • 344
  • Volume

  • 15
  • Issue

  • 3