The University of Adelaide
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Innate response to first feeding in Octopus berrima hatchlings despite embryonic food imprinting - Behavioural Videos

posted on 2023-07-30, 15:32 authored by Qian Hui Qiaz HuaQian Hui Qiaz Hua, Manuel Nande, Zoe Doubleday, Bronwyn GillandersBronwyn Gillanders


Food imprinting has both ecological and evolutionary significance but the generality of these

patterns for octopods remains unknown. We aim to determine the prey preference of Octopus

berrima hatchlings and whether it may be modified through imprinting. Firstly, hatchlings were

given isopods, amphipods and mussels to determine their prey preference ranking. In a separate

experiment, embryos were exposed to the visual and chemical stimuli of either isopods, amphipods

or mussels separately at least a week before hatching. A prey preference test on hatchlings using all

three prey types was conducted. We found that O. berrima had a preference ranking of isopods >

amphipods > mussels. However, they retained their isopod prey preference regardless of the prey

type they were embryonically exposed to, indicating that it is likely pre-determined as a result of

innate biological processes rather than from life experience, providing evidence that imprinting

does not occur in O. berrima.


The University of Adelaide

Australian Society for Fish Biology