Behavioral responses of elasmobranch fishes to weak electric fields have been well studied. These studies typically employ a stimulator that produces a dipole electric field intended to simulate the natural electric field of prey items. However, the characteristics of bioelectric fields have not been well described. The magnitude and frequency of the electric field produced by 11 families of marine organisms were quantified in this study. Invertebrate electric potentials ranged from 14 to 28 μV and did not differ from those of elasmobranchs, which ranged from 18 to 30 μV. Invertebrates and elasmobranchs produced electric potentials smaller than those of teleost fishes, which ranged from 39 to 319 μV. All species produced electric fields within the frequency range that is detectable by elasmobranch predators (<16 Hz), with the highest frequencies produced by the penaeids (10.3 Hz) and the gerreids (4.6 Hz). Although voltage differed by family, there was no relationship between voltage and mass or length of prey. Differences in prey voltage may be related to osmoregulatory strategies; invertebrates and elasmobranchs are osmoconformers and have less ion exchange with the surrounding seawater than teleosts species, which are hyposmotic. As predicted, voltage production was greatest at the mucous membrane–lined mouth and gills, which are sites of direct ion exchange with the environment.
Bioelectric Fields of Marine Organisms: Voltage and Frequency Contributions to Detectability by Electroreceptive Predators
Title: Bioelectric Fields of Marine Organisms: Voltage and Frequency Contributions to Detectability by Electroreceptive Predators
April 02, 2013
Journal: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology
Publisher: Chicago Journals
Bedore, C.; Kajiura, S. (2013). Bioelectric Fields of Marine Organisms: Voltage and Frequency Contributions to Detectability by Electroreceptive Predators. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 86(3), 298-311.