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Laboratory experiments on geotaxis phototaxis and anemotaxis in two species of littoral amphipods



Laboratory experiments on geotaxis phototaxis and anemotaxis in two species of littoral amphipods



Monitore Zoologico Italiano 22(1): 89-104



The littoral amphipods Talitrus saltator (Montagu) and Orchestia mediterranea Costa (Crustacea Amphipoda) were checked for their response in the laboratory to the following stimuli: light, substrate slope, and wind, presented single, or in opposing pairs that produced antiparallel taxes. In the presence of single stimuli T. saltator was photopositive and anemonegative on both a dry and wet substrate, and-as was known-geopositive on a dry substrate and geonegative on a wet one. In the presence of single stimuli O. mediterranea responded like T. saltator to wind and substrate slope, while in response to light it was photopositive on a dry substrate and photonegative on a wet one. In both species the predominating response to pairs of opposing stimuli was anemotaxis over geotaxis, phototaxis over geotaxis, and anemotaxis over phototaxis in dim light and vice versa in bright light. This hierarchy might be of importance in the complex mechanism of zonal orientation by littoral amphipods.

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