Chemo-tactile predator avoidance responses of the common Antarctic limpet Nacella concinna

Andrew R. Mahon, Charles D. Amsler, James B. McClintock, Bill J. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Antarctic limpet, Nacella concinna, has the ability to escape predation by the predatory sea star, Neosmilaster georgianus. When the sea star comes into contact with the limpet, the limpet undergoes characteristic behaviors that include extension of its pallial tentacles, raising its shell in a mushroom-like fashion, rotation, and flight. These behaviors were not observed until the sea star physically contacted the limpets and were not induced by the omnivorous sea star, Odontaster validus, which occupies the same habitats as Ne. georgianus. Crude hydrophilic extracts from Ne. georgianus, but not from O. validus, induced the escape behaviors, indicating that this response is chemical as well as tactile. These putative escape behaviors displayed by Na. concinna may contribute to avoidance of predation by Ne. georgianus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-473
Number of pages5
JournalPolar Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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