Document Type


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Publication Title

Journal of Experimental Biology








Squid rely on multiple sensory systems for predator detection. In this study we examine the role of two sensory systems, the lateral line analogue and vision, in successful predator evasion throughout ontogeny. Squid Doryteuthis pealeii and Lolliguncula brevis were recorded using high-speed videography in the presence of natural predators under light and dark conditions with their lateral line analogue intact or ablated via a pharmacological technique. Paralarval squid showed reduced escape responses when ablated; however, no differences were found between light and dark conditions in non-ablated paralarvae, as was previously shown in juveniles and adults, indicating that the lateral line analogue is integral for predator detection early in life. However, vision does play a role in survival because ablated squid in dark conditions had lower levels of survival than all other treatments. Throughout ontogeny, squid oriented themselves anteriorly towards the oncoming predator, maximizing sensory input to the lateral line analogue system and providing better positioning for tail-first escape jetting, the preferred escape mode. Ablated juveniles and adults had lower response times, escape velocities and peak acceleration than non-ablated individuals, indicating that the lateral line analogue enables squid to respond quicker and with more powerful jets to a predator and maximize escape success. Our findings reveal that the lateral line analogue plays a role in predator detection and successful escape response at the earliest life stages, and continues to contribute to successful evasion by aiding visual cues in juvenile and adult squid.

Original Publication Citation

York, C. A., Bartol, I. K., & Krueger, P. S. (2016). Multiple sensory modalities used by squid in successful predator evasion throughout ontogeny. Journal of Experimental Biology, 219(18), 2870-2879. doi:10.1242/jeb.140780