Chemoorientation in the feeding behavior of the blind Mexican cavefish Astyanax fasciatus (Characidae, Teleostei)

  title={Chemoorientation in the feeding behavior of the blind Mexican cavefish Astyanax fasciatus (Characidae, Teleostei)},
  author={Alexander O. Kasumyan and E. A. Marusov},
  journal={Russian Journal of Ecology},
It was shown for the first time that the perception of the blind Mexican cavefish Astyanax fasciatus of the odour of food and targeted food search in response to it is completely controlled by olfaction. Blockage of olfactory reception deprives the fish of this ability. The odour concentration threshold (water extract of chironomid larvae) is 10–5 g/L. It is suggested that degeneration of visual organs does not intensify olfaction in troglobiont cavefish, but can cause its insignificant… 
Chemosensory mediation of food searching in the Buenos Aires tetra Hyphessobrycon anisitsi (Characidae)
The obtained results show that the external sense of taste is absent or extremely poorly developed in the Buenos Aires tetra.
Contrasting feeding habits of post-larval and adult Astyanax cavefish
The data is discussed with regards to the current developmental and genetic understanding of cavefish morphological and behavioural evolution, particularly regarding its enhanced Vibration Attraction Behaviour (VAB).
Feeding behavior and responsivity to food odors in Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus (Cichlidae) after chronic polisensory deprivation
The food searching behavior in response to food odors is completely lost as a result of irreversible anosmia and do not be restored after a 4.5-month period even for the high concentrations of the extract.
Odor Stimulation and Relation to Taste Stimuli in the Blind Cave Fish Astyanax fasciatus
It is noted that the taste characteristics of both amino acids differ in the evaluation of the extraoral and oral taste systems, which indicates food selectivity in the blind cave fish, the food of which in its habitats is extremely monotonous.
Cave Astyanax: Hunters or scavengers? Evidence from gut contents
It is reported here that adult Astyanax can also be active hunters of crustaceans, which may vibrate at such frequencies as to cause Vibration Atraction Behavior when previous studies had only come the authors' with bat guano in their gut contents.
Structural Organization of the Taste Apparatus in Characins (Characidae, Teleostei)
In blind astyanaxes and blinded individuals of tetra, numerous modified epidermal cells were found for the first time in the epithelium of the taste zones and in contact with taste buds, which are regarded as tactile receptors and a constituent element of polysensory taste-tactile complexes localized in blind fish in mainly ventral sensory zones.
Differences in behavior between surface and cave Astyanax mexicanus may be mediated by changes in catecholamine signaling
Differences in tyrosine hydroxylase staining in the brains of surface and cave Astyanax likely indicate changes in behavioral control that underlie adaptations to the cave environment.
Development of the olfactory organ in the ontogeny of carps (Cyprinidae)
In the studied species, olfactory organ becomes differentiated/formed at different age and at various morphological states of the progeny, but at similar body size (29–30 mm).
Orosensory food testing in fish: Chronology of behavior
The relationship between the responsiveness to food and the predisposition of fish to feeding was revealed and the existence of two stereotypical patterns of feeding behavior was confirmed.
Evolutionary increases in catecholamine signaling may underlie the emergence of adaptive traits and behaviors in the blind cavefish, Astyanax mexicanus
The results indicate that the evolutionary shift from aversive defensive responses to attractive exploratory behaviors was driven by increases in the size and/or quantity of catecholaminergic neurons in the cavefish brain.


Studies on the genetics of feeding behaviour in the cave fish Astyanax mexicanus f. anoptichthys. An example of apparent monofactorial inheritance by polygenes.
The Mexican characid Astyanax mexicanus gave rise to a series of cavernicolous populations ("Anoptichthys") and it could be demonstrated that this difference in feeding behaviour is controlled by polygenes, although frequency distributions of the crossings suggest an apparent monofactorial inheritance.
Food-finding ability in cave fish (Astyanax fasciatus)
Several morphological and ethological alterations in the cave fish, described by other authors, seem to be responsible for this adaptation to the cave conditions.
Chemoreception in chronically anosmiated fish: A phenomenon of compensatory development of the gustatory system
The complementarity of chemosensory systems, their functional interaction, capacity for a compensatory development, and vicariation are considered sensory mechanisms providing the reliability of realization by fish of the most important behavioral patterns, of food, in particular.
Postlarval growth of the peripheral gustatory system in the channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus
The present study was undertaken in order to examine the process of growth in the peripheral gustatory system and to determine whether the degree of convergence of receptors onto primary sensory afferents changes during growth.
Olfaction and taste senses in sturgeon behaviour.
Olfaction is one of the fundamental senses for spawning and feeding behaviour in sturgeons and the extra-oral taste system develops more rapidly than oral taste system during sturgeon ontogenesis.
Modularity and sense organs in the blind cavefish, Astyanax mexicanus
It is suggested that modularity can be viewed as being nested in a manner similar to Baupläne so that modules express unique sets of genes, cells, and processes and that natural selection can act on any of these hierarchical levels within modules or on all the sensory modules as a whole.
Behavioral Taste Response of the Minnow Phoxinus phoxinus (Cyprinidae) to Chemical Signals under Normal Conditions and After Acute and Chronic Anosmia
It was determined that development of compensatory processes does not lead to the recovery of behavioral responses to nonfood (defensive) chemical signals, and it is proposed that partial recovery of the ability to respond to food chemical stimuli in anosmic fish is facilitated by functions of the external taste.
Morphological differences in neuromasts of the blind cave fish Astyanax hubbsi and the sighted river fish Astyanax mexicanus.
  • T. Teyke
  • Biology
    Brain, behavior and evolution
  • 1990
The specific morphology of the neuromasts in the blind cave fish appears to reflect an evolutionary adaptation which can serve to improve the functioning of the lateral line system and thereby compensate for the lack of eyes.
Differences in chemosensory response between eyed and eyeless Astyanax mexicanus of the Rio Subterráneo cave
It is suggested that chemosensory capabilities might have evolved in cave-dwelling Astyanax mexicanus and that modulation of naris size might at least partially underlie this likely adaptive change.
Evolution and Genetics of Epigean and Cave Astyanax fasciatus (Characidae, Pisces)
In the study of cavernicolous animals, the Mexican characid fish Astyanax fasciatus has come to play a role equivalent to that of the fruit fly, Drosophila, in genetics.