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The Influence of Ingestive Conditioning on the Prey Species Selection in Aeolidia papillosa (Mollusca: Nudibranchia)
Stephen J. Hall, Christopher D. Todd and Allan D. Gordon
Journal of Animal Ecology
Vol. 51, No. 3 (Oct., 1982), pp. 907-921
Published by: British Ecological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4013
Page Count: 15
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(1) The nudibranch mollusc Aeolidia papillosa (L.) is known to prey upon a wide variety of anemone species, but specific preferences are unclear. (2) Individual Aeolidia maintained on the field diet, Sagartia troglodytes (Price), showed a significant preference for this species over five other species in laboratory multiple choice trials. (3) When the maintenance diet was changed to the red morph of Actinia equina (L.), the nudibranchs showed a preference for this species and S. troglodytes correspondingly dropped to a lower position in the hierarchy. (4) The significance of `ingestive conditioning' in terms of the possible switching behaviour of this predator is discussed and certain physiological mechanisms are considered. (5) It is suggested that `ingestive conditioning' may be important in maximizing the efficiency of exploitation of varying prey resources.
Journal of Animal Ecology © 1982 British Ecological Society