Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Michael Fine


The chemosensory abilities of fishes, are important in order to understand how prey can perceive and avoid predators. Predator-naïve Channel catfish were exposed to four extracts over eight sessions (naïve bass water (NBW), bass that were fed catfish water (BFCW), catfish skin extract (CS), and naïve bass water paired with catfish skin extract (CO)) to determine whether they have an innate predator response to potential chemical cues indicating possible predation risk. Movement was quantified as grid squares crossed, directional changes, and tail beats. Response increased during the first minute following stimulus injection and decreased during the second minute. Channel catfish increased movement upon exposure to stimuli from NBW, CS and CO but not to BFCW. Increased response to bass odor while habituating to catfish skin extract, which presumably contains alarm pheromone, suggests that catfish learned to recognize bass odor without external reinforcement.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2013

Included in

Biology Commons