Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) larvae alter morphological but not chemical defenses in response to predator cues

Kelly H. Brossman, Bradley E. Carlson, Amber N. Stokes, Tracy Lee Langkilde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Prey traits are often modified in response to exposure to predators, a phenomenon known as predator-induced phenotypic plasticity. Morphological plasticity in response to predator cues is well documented in amphibians; however, predator-induced chemical defenses have received relatively little attention. The Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens (Rafinesque, 1820)), which possesses tetrodotoxin-a toxin for chemical defense, is most vulnerable to predation during its larval stage. We assessed whether exposing Eastern Newt larvae to predator scent cues (from dragonfly larvae) would elicit change in their morphological and chemical defenses. Newt larvae exposed to scent cues of predatory dragonfly larvae exhibited significantly greater tail depths, which should increase survival of attempted predation by allowing them to swim faster, but did not differ in mass, snout-vent length, or tail length. Toxin concentrations in newt larvae were not significantly affected by exposure to these predator cues. Larval toxicity may be derived maternally or environmentally and is inflexible, or induced toxicity may only be detectable later in development. Predator-induced phenotypic plasticity, especially of chemical defenses, warrants greater attention, as potentially important outcomes of species interactions remain unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-283
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian journal of zoology
Volume92
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Fingerprint

Notophthalmus viridescens
chemical defense
predator
larva
predators
larvae
dragonfly
Anisoptera (Odonata)
phenotypic plasticity
salamanders and newts
toxin
tail
toxins
predation
odors
toxicity
tetrodotoxin
chemical defenses
amphibian
plasticity

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

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title = "Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) larvae alter morphological but not chemical defenses in response to predator cues",
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Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) larvae alter morphological but not chemical defenses in response to predator cues. / Brossman, Kelly H.; Carlson, Bradley E.; Stokes, Amber N.; Langkilde, Tracy Lee.

In: Canadian journal of zoology, Vol. 92, No. 4, 01.01.2014, p. 279-283.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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