Already in the 19th century Sabaneev (1960) reported that piscivorous visually guided
zanders, Stizostedion lucioperca,
which eat only live food can nonetheless be caught on dead fish cut into stripes
with the skin and silver scale. Like other visually guided predatory fish,
namely pike, Esox lucius, and perch, Perca fluviatilis, zanders never eat
decaying fish. According to the modern knowledge, zanders could respond in
addition to visual cues to alarm pheromone that released in the water from the injured
skin of fish or from dead fish without injuring their skin (Malyukina et al.,
dead fish in trolling and other rigs may be used to fish big pike and zander
In the undirect
winter experiments carried out in the USA by Wisenden & Thiel (2001), predatory fish
active in cold season such as pike, E.
lucius, walleye, S. vitreum, largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, and yellow perch, P. flavescens, colud be attracted by the skin extract of fathead
minnow, Pimephales promelas (Cyprinidae).
direct field experiments (Dnipro river in Ukraine, in June) described below,
we found that S. lucioperca could be
attracted by alarm pheromone of roach, Rutilus
stimulus of one type was prepared by squashing 30 g of roach skin together with
the scale in the rough clay mortar and diluted with
the 0,3 liter of river water, without further filtration. Chemical stimulus of
another type was prepared of 30 g of roach flesh without skin in the foregoing
way (according to Malyukina et al., 1980, standard extract of fish skin
contains 1g of skin per 1 liter of water).
compare both chemical stimuli, artificial soft lures made of high quality white
foam rubber were used. Lures were in the form of stripes (0,5 x 0,5 x 5,0 cm)
attached at one end to the single hooks (VMC live bait hooks #1/0, short shank).
For more buoyancy, one white styrofoam olive was dressed similar to sabiki on the line leader in front
of each lure.
the field, two units of the typical feeder rods with reels, main lines, simple
sinkers and two line leaders, 30 and 40 cm length, with the attached lures were
used. In one rig, lures attached to 30 and 40 cm leaders was soaked with the
skin and flesh extracts, respectively, vice versa in another rig.
of both types were compared in the typical zander location with the depth of
2,0- 2,5 m at the distance of 15-20 meters from the shore, with the middle flow.
Tests were carried out during two nights from 1000 of evening until 1200
of midnight, skin and flesh extracts in rubber bodies of lures were
resoaked every thirty minutes.
total, within two nights 21 bites were obtained. Potential predators, in
addition to zander, were large individuals of chub, Leuciscus cephalus, ide, L.
idus, and wels
catfish, Silurus glanis, all with the
nocturnal type of feeding activity. Among potential predators, 9 individuals of
zander (from 0,8 to 1,2 kg) were caugh, all for lures soaked with the skin
extract (sign test, n = 9, z = 9, p < 0,01). Also, single 3 kg wels was caught for the
show the preference of zanders to alarm pheromone of cyprinid fish. According
to Valentinčič (2004),
for wild zanders an odor of the fish flech extract must be indifferent.
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percid (Percidae) fish can be divided into the two groups depending on type of
their activity and sensory equipment. European perch,
Perca fluviatilis, American yellow
perch, Perca flavescens, and numerous
American darters (Etheostoma)
demonstrate the day type of activity (first of all of the feeding activity),
are visually guided fish and, thus, may be included in the first group.
laboratory and natural conditions, both perches usually do not eat immobile as
well as dead food and demonstrate relatively weak responses to food odors or
their absence. According to Mirza et al. (2003), an aqueous brine shrimp (Artemia spp.) extract (5 g of frozen shrimp
in 150 ml of distilled water for 1 hour) induces searching movements in P. flavescens. Both perches, however, do
not go practically into the minnow traps baited with the animal lures (in
contrast to cyprinid, cobitid and other fish).
aquarium, blinded P. fluviatilis may
find the pieces of earthworms using olfactory and gustatory systems (Wunder,
1927). But convergence of perch with brown trout, Salmo trutta, on sensory system utilization is incorrect.
percid fish contains alarm pheromone that is documented in yellow perch P. flevescens, common ruffe Gymnochephalus cernuus and other
species. Releasing in the water, this pheromone induces in small
(planktivorous) perch an avoidance behaviour, whereas large (piscivorous) perch
display feeding behaviour (Mirza et al., 2003; Harvey & Brown, 2004).
group is formed by percids with the twilight or nocturnal type of feeding
activity with the morphologically developed chemosensory and lateral line
systems. Three Europen zanders or pikeperches, Stizostedion lucioperca , S. volgensis
and estuarine pikeperch S. marinus,
both North American zanders, walleye S.
vitreus and sauger S. canadensis,
all species of Gymnocephalus genus
(such as common ruffe G. cernuus,
Donets ruffe G. acerina, striped
ruffe G. schraetser and other), all
species of Zingel genus (such as Z. zingel, Z. streber, Z. balcanicus and
other) and sculpin-perch Romanichthys
valsanicola (single species of Romanichthys
genus) belong to this group. Three last genera are represented in temperate
Europe, except common ruffes which occupy mainly boreal areas around the world
being active intruders in America.
Underyearling walleyes are mainly visually guided fish with
the olfactory system that can detect individual chemicals and artificial food
odors (Rottiers & Lemm, 1985). In particular, fish are
attracted by amino acids (arginine), betaine, washings from live Daphnia and Artemia but reject many other chemicals (cysteine, glycine,
to Valentinčič (2004),
walleyes and some other fish occupy an exclusive niche of visually guided
predators with the secondary role of chemosensory system in feeding behaviour.
Electrophysiological dara indicate that olfactory system of walleyes is broadly
tuned while gustatory system of them is tuned very narrowly. On the other hand,
behaviuoral data for wild walleyes show that over 90 % of fish do not use
chemical senses to release feeding excitatory state. In addition, walleyes
which are not conditioned to eat nonliving foods during their early life do not
use olfactory and taste systems to control feeding bahaviour (Valentinčič, 2004).
sensitivity of nocturnal percid fish to foo
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Northern pike, Esox lucius, are attracted by alarm pheromone of fathead minnow, Pimephales promelas, deposited normally in
the undamaged fish skin (Mathis et al., 1995; Chivers et al., 1996; undirect
data by Wisenden & Thiel, 2001). According to Mathis et al. (1995), pike are also attracted by
an artificial hypoxanthin-3(N)-oxyde identified as an active component of the Ostariophysi
to pike in the winter experiments (Wisenden & Thiel, 2001), other predatory fish active in cold season
such as walleye, Stizostedion vitreum, largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, and yellow perch, Perca flavescens, might be attracted by the skin extract of fathead
minnow, P. promelas. Other potential
predators in the experimental locality (Wisenden & Thiel, 2001) such as black bullhead catfish, Ameiurus melas, brown bullhead, A. nebulosus, and yellow bullhead, A. natalis, are inactive in the winter
It is shown
directly that piscivorous (adult) largemouth bass, M. salmoides, are attracted by alarm pheromone of finescale dace, Phoxinus neogaeus (Brown et al., 2001). Likewise,
adult yellow perch, P. flavescens, are attracted by conspecific alarm pheromone (Hurvey
& Brown, 2004) while juvenile (planktivorous) bass and perch demonstrate
anti-predator behaviour to the same cue.
to Mathis et al. (1995), skin extract of fathead minnow, P. promelas, attracts also 6 species of predaceous diving beetles
(Dytiscidae) like Colymbetes sculptilis
LeBlanc V.J., Porter L.E. 2001. Ontogenetic changes in the response of
largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides, Centrarchidae, Perciformes) to heterospecific
alarm pheromones. Ethology 107,
D.P., Brown G.E., Smith R.J.F. 1996. The evolution of chemical alarm
signals: attracting predators benefits alarm signal senders. The American Naturalist 148, 649-659
Harvey M.C., Brown G.E. 2004. Dine or dash?: Ontogenetic shift in the response of
yellow perch to conspecific alarm cues. Environmental Biology of Fishes 70, 345-352
Chivers D.P., Smith R.J.F. 1995. Chemical alarm signals: predator
detterents or predator attractants? American
Naturalist 145, 994-1005
Thiel T.A. 2001. Field verification of predator attraction to minnow
alarm substance. Journal of
Chemical Ecology 28, 417-422
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