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1 December 2014 Chemosensory Prey Detection by the Amphisbaenian Trogonophis wiegmanni
Pilar López, Jesús Ortega, José Martín
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Foraging underground poses a number of important challenges for fossorial animals, such as amphisbaenians. For instance, visual detection and identification of prey is often hampered by low light conditions and poor eye sight. In response, many fossorial animals have switched to other sensory systems, such as chemoreception. We tested the ability of the amphisbaenian Trogonophis wiegmanni to detect and discriminate between different prey types based on chemical cues alone. Results of a laboratory experiment showed that amphisbaenians were able to detect prey using chemoreception, as indicated by an increase in chemosensory tongue-flick responses to swabs bearing chemicals from prey in comparison with blank controls. Also, differential tongue-flick rates to chemicals from different prey types indicated that at least some prey types may be discriminated from others based on chemosensory cues. These results suggest that T. wiegmanni amphisbaenians use chemoreception when foraging.

Pilar López, Jesús Ortega, and José Martín "Chemosensory Prey Detection by the Amphisbaenian Trogonophis wiegmanni," Journal of Herpetology 48(4), 514-517, (1 December 2014).
Accepted: 1 January 2014; Published: 1 December 2014

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