A quantitative assessment of chemically-mediated rheotaxis in the asteroid Coscinasterias tenuispina

Academic Article


  • Movement patterns of Coscinasterias tenuispina were analyzed in a recirculating flow tank in order to evaluate responsiveness to different odors and determine whether chemically-mediated rheotaxis is utilized as a navigational mechanism. Asteroids were presented with odors of injured conspecifics, krill tissue, and live prey (gastropod, mussels, ophiuroid). C. tenuispina appears to have an alarm response as evidence by increased speed and movement down-current, away from the souce of injured cpnspecific odor. The strongest, positive response was observed in response to krill tissue odor. C. tenuispina moved consistently upcurrent during replicate tests with krill tissue. Movement in response to krill tissue odor was also highly non-linear. In all but one case, C. tenuispina did not respond significantly to odors of live prey. C. tenuispina utilizes chemically-mediated rheotaxis to some extent in response to injured conspecific and krill tissue odors.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Swenson DP; McClintock JB
  • Start Page

  • 63
  • End Page

  • 80
  • Volume

  • 31
  • Issue

  • 2