Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Predator recognition and responses in the endangered Macquarie perch (Macquaria australasica)

Culum Brown A B and Jennifer Morgan A

A Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia.

B Corresponding author. Email: culum.brown@mq.edu.au

Marine and Freshwater Research 66(2) 127-134 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF13258
Submitted: 2 October 2013  Accepted: 2 May 2014   Published: 10 October 2014

Abstract

Macquarie perch, Macquaria austalasica, is an endangered species endemic to southern Australia whose distribution is highly fragmented and continues to decline. Key threatening processes include habitat destruction, dams and weirs, overfishing and interactions with introduced species. Here, we examined the responses of small and large Macquarie perch to two native predators and to the introduced redfin perch, Perca fluviatilis. Our results showed that Macquarie perch generally avoided large-bodied native predators but was attracted to small-bodied native predators. Responses to large and small redfin perch lay between these two extremes, suggesting that the Macquarie perch does treat these foreign fish as potential threats. Macquarie perch relied on both visual and chemical cues to identify predators, although its response tended to be stronger when exposed to visual cues. The results suggest that Macquarie perch has the capacity to recognise and respond to invasive species in a threat-sensitive manner, which has positive implications for the conservation management of the species.

Additional keywords: anti-predator behaviour, invasive species, Murray River cod, redfin, spangled perch.


References

Arthington, A. H., and Marshall, C. J. (1999). Diet of the exotic mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, in an Australian lake and potential for competition with indigenous fish species. Asian Fisheries Science 12, 1–16. open url image1

Bolker, B. M., Brooks, M. E., Clark, C. J., Geange, S. W., Poulsen, J. R., Stevens, H. H., and White, J.-S. S. (2009). General linear mixed models: a practical guide for ecology and evolution. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 24, 127–135.
General linear mixed models: a practical guide for ecology and evolution.CrossRef | open url image1

Bool, J. D., Witcomb, K., Kydd, E., and Brown, C. (2011). Learned recognition and avoidance of invasive mosquitofish by the shrimp, Paratya australiensis. Marine and Freshwater Research 62, 1230–1236.
Learned recognition and avoidance of invasive mosquitofish by the shrimp, Paratya australiensis.CrossRef | open url image1

Brown, C., and Day, R. (2002). The future of stock enhancements: bridging the gap between hatchery practice and conservation biology. Fish and Fisheries 3, 79–94.
The future of stock enhancements: bridging the gap between hatchery practice and conservation biology.CrossRef | open url image1

Brown, C., and Warburton, K. (1997). Predator recognition and anti-predator responses in the rainbowfish: Melanotaenia eachamensis. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 41, 61–68. open url image1

Brown, C., and Warburton, K. (1999). Differences in timidity and escape responses between predator-naive and predator-sympatric rainbowfish populations. Ethology 105, 491–502.
Differences in timidity and escape responses between predator-naive and predator-sympatric rainbowfish populations.CrossRef | open url image1

Brown, C., Laland, K. N., and Krause, J. (2011). ‘Fish Cognition and Behaviour.’ (Wiley-Blackwell: Cambridge, UK.)

Cadwallader, P. L., and Rogan, P. L. (1977). The Macquarie perch, Macquaria australasica (Pisces: Percichthyidae) of Lake Eildon, Victoria. Australian Journal of Ecology 2, 409–418.
The Macquarie perch, Macquaria australasica (Pisces: Percichthyidae) of Lake Eildon, Victoria.CrossRef | open url image1

Csanyi, V. (1985). Ethological analysis of predator avoidance by the paradise fish (Macropodus opercularis) I. Recognition and learning of predators. Behaviour 92, 227–240. open url image1

Davies, P. E., Harris, J. H., Hillman, T. J., and Walter, K. F. (2010). The Sustainable Rivers Audit; assessing river ecosystems health in the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 61, 764–777.
The Sustainable Rivers Audit; assessing river ecosystems health in the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3cXptFGrs7Y%3D&md5=610b2bb9f99bbca04bb5fd9c5fcedd1bCAS | open url image1

Faulks, L., Gilligan, D., and Beheregaray, L. (2010). Evolution and maintenance of divergent lineages in an endangered freshwater fish, Macquaria australasica. Conservation Genetics 11, 921–934.
Evolution and maintenance of divergent lineages in an endangered freshwater fish, Macquaria australasica.CrossRef | open url image1

Ferrari, M. C. O., Messier, F., and Chivers, D. P. (2008). Can prey exhibit threat-sensitive generalization of predator recognition? Extending the predator recognition continuum hypothesis. Proceedings. Biological Sciences 275, 1811–1816.
Can prey exhibit threat-sensitive generalization of predator recognition? Extending the predator recognition continuum hypothesis.CrossRef | open url image1

Godin, J. G. J., and Davis, S. A. (1995). Who dares, benefits – Predator approach behavior in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) deters predator pursuit. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 259, 193–200.
Who dares, benefits – Predator approach behavior in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) deters predator pursuit.CrossRef | open url image1

Gray, S. C., De Silva, S. S., Ingram, B. A., and Gooley, G. J. (2000). Effects of river impoundment on body condition and reproductive performance of the Australian native fish, Macquarie perch (Macquaria australasica). Lakes and Reservoirs: Research and Management 5, 281–291.
Effects of river impoundment on body condition and reproductive performance of the Australian native fish, Macquarie perch (Macquaria australasica).CrossRef | open url image1

Griffin, A. S., Evans, C. S., and Blumstein, D. T. (2001). Learning specificity in acquired predator recognition. Animal Behaviour 62, 577–589.
Learning specificity in acquired predator recognition.CrossRef | open url image1

Harris, J. H. (2013). Fishes from elsewhere. In ‘Ecology of Australian Freshwater Fishes’. (Eds P. Humphries and K. Walter.) pp. 259–282. (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.)

Helfman, G. S., and Winkelman, D. L. (1997). Threat sensitivity in bicolour damselfish: effects of sociality and body size. Ethology 103, 369–383.
Threat sensitivity in bicolour damselfish: effects of sociality and body size.CrossRef | open url image1

Hickman, C. R., Stone, M. D., and Mathis, A. (2004). Priority use of chemical over visual cues for detection of predators by graybelly salamanders, Eurycea multiplocata griseogaster. Herpetologica 60, 203–210.
Priority use of chemical over visual cues for detection of predators by graybelly salamanders, Eurycea multiplocata griseogaster.CrossRef | open url image1

Howe, E. H. I., Howe, C., Lim, R., and Burchett, M. (1997). Impact of the introduced poeciliid Gambusia holbrooki (Girard, 1859) on the growth and reproduction of Pseudomugil signifier (Kner, 1865) in Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 48, 425–434.
Impact of the introduced poeciliid Gambusia holbrooki (Girard, 1859) on the growth and reproduction of Pseudomugil signifier (Kner, 1865) in Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

Hutchison, M. J. (1991). Distribution patterns of redfin perch Perca fluviatilis Linnaeus and western pygmy perch Edelia vittata Castelnau in the Murray River System Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 15, 295–301. open url image1

Ingram, B. A., Douglas, J. W., and Lintermans, M. (2000). Threatened fishes of the world: Macquaria australasica Cuvier, 1830 (Percichthyidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes 59, 68.
Threatened fishes of the world: Macquaria australasica Cuvier, 1830 (Percichthyidae).CrossRef | open url image1

IUCN (2013) ‘Red list.’ Available at http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/12581/0 [verified December 2013]

Karplus, I., Goren, M., and Algom, D. (1982). A preliminary experimental analysis of predator face recognition by Chromis caerulaeus. Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie 61, 149–156. open url image1

Keller, K., and Brown, C. (2008). Behavioural interactions between the introduced plague minnow Gambusia holbrooki and the vulnerable native Australian ornate rainbowfish Rhadinocentrus ornatus, under experimental conditions. Journal of Fish Biology 73, 1714–1729.
Behavioural interactions between the introduced plague minnow Gambusia holbrooki and the vulnerable native Australian ornate rainbowfish Rhadinocentrus ornatus, under experimental conditions.CrossRef | open url image1

Kelley, J., and Brown, C. (2011). Predation risk and decision making in poeciliid prey. In ‘Ecology and Evolution of Poeciliid Fishes’. pp. 174–184. (University of Chicago Press: Chicago, IL)

Koehn, J. D., and Lintermans, M. (2012). A strategy to rehabilitate fishes of the Murray–Darling Basin, south-eastern Australia. Endangered Species Research 16, 165–181.
A strategy to rehabilitate fishes of the Murray–Darling Basin, south-eastern Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

Langdon, J. S. (1989). Experimental transmission and pathogenicity of epizootic haematopoietic necrosis virus (EHNV) in redfin perch, Perca fluviatilis L., and 11 other teleosts. Journal of Fish Diseases 12, 295–310.
Experimental transmission and pathogenicity of epizootic haematopoietic necrosis virus (EHNV) in redfin perch, Perca fluviatilis L., and 11 other teleosts.CrossRef | open url image1

Lima, S. L., and Dill, L. M. (1990). Behavioral decisions made under the risk of predation: a review and prospectus. Canadian Journal of Zoology 68, 619–640.
Behavioral decisions made under the risk of predation: a review and prospectus.CrossRef | open url image1

Lintermans, M. (2004). Human-assisted dispersal of alien freshwater fishes in Australia. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 38, 481–501.
Human-assisted dispersal of alien freshwater fishes in Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

Lintermans, M. (2007). ‘Fishes of the Murray–Darling Basin: an Introductory Guide.’ (Murray–Darling Basin Commission: Canberra.)

Lintermans, M. (2013). The rise and fall of a translocated population of the endangered Macquarie perch, Macquaria australasica, in south-eastern Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 64, 838–850. open url image1

McDowall, R. M. (2006). Crying wolf, crying foul, or crying shame: alien salmonids and a biodiversity crisis in the southern cool-temperate galaxioid fishes? Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 16, 233–422. open url image1

Morgan, D. L., Hambleton, S. J., Gill, H. S., and Beatty, S. J. (2003). Distribution, biology and likely impacts of the introduced redfin perch, Perca fluviatilis (Percidae), in Western Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 53, 1211–1221.
Distribution, biology and likely impacts of the introduced redfin perch, Perca fluviatilis (Percidae), in Western Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

Ottoni, E. B. (2000). EthoLog 2.2 – a tool for the transcription and timing of behavior observation sessions. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers 32, 446–449.
EthoLog 2.2 – a tool for the transcription and timing of behavior observation sessions.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD3cvnvV2kug%3D%3D&md5=b1046eaa8ee17e0afe74a93e569b4a56CAS | open url image1

Pen, L. J., and Potter, I. C. (1992). Seasonal and size-related changes in the diet of perch, Perca fluviatilis L., in the shallows of an Australian river, and their implications for the conservation of indigenous teleosts. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 2, 243–253.
Seasonal and size-related changes in the diet of perch, Perca fluviatilis L., in the shallows of an Australian river, and their implications for the conservation of indigenous teleosts.CrossRef | open url image1

Persson, L., Andersson, J., Wahlstrom, E., and Eklov, P. (1996). Size-specific interactions in lake systems: predator gape limitation and prey growth rate and mortality. Ecology 77, 900–911. open url image1

Rowe, D., Moore, A., Giorgetti, A., Maclean, C., Grace, P., Wadhwa, S., and Cooke, J. (2008). Review of the impacts of gambusia, redfin perch, tench, roach, yellowfin goby and streaked goby in Australia. Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra, Australia.

Stankowich, T., and Coss, R. G. (2007). The re-emergence of felid camouflage with the decay of predator recognition in deer under relaxed selection. Proceedings. Biological Sciences 274, 175–182.
The re-emergence of felid camouflage with the decay of predator recognition in deer under relaxed selection.CrossRef | open url image1

Templeton, C. N., and Shriner, W. M. (2004). Multiple selection pressures influence Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata) antipredator behavior. Behavioral Ecology 15, 673–678.
Multiple selection pressures influence Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata) antipredator behavior.CrossRef | open url image1

Weatherley, A. H. (1977). Perca fluciatilis in Australia: zoogeographic expression of a life cycle in relation to an environment. Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 34, 1464–1466.
Perca fluciatilis in Australia: zoogeographic expression of a life cycle in relation to an environment.CrossRef | open url image1



Export Citation Cited By (2)