Effects of the invasive Tilapia on the Common Spiny Loach (Cypriniformes: Cobitidae: Lepidocephalichthys thermalis) - implications for conservation

Main Article Content

Sandip D. Tapkir
http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3456-8406
Sanjay S. Kharat
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5031-4807
Pradeep Kumkar
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5443-1899
Sachin M. Gosavi
http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0534-2336

Abstract

 The introduction of invasive species leading to decline of freshwater fauna is a major concern for conservation biologists.  In this study we examined the effect of introduced Tilapia on the survival of the loach Lepidocephalichthys thermalis via predation experiments with Tilapia and a native predator, the Snakehead fish Channa gachua.  Examining the chemoecology of prey-predator interactions, we found that L. thermalis failed to detect water-borne cues from Tilapia but did recognize cues from C. gachua, indicating innate predator recognition.  We also observed that L. thermalis can learn to associate kairomones with Tilapia when conditioned with kairomones and injured conspecific cues.  Trained L. thermalis showed higher survival during Tilapia predation trials.  Thus under experimental conditions the vulnerability of L. thermalis to Tilapia predation due to failure to detect chemical cues can be reduced via associative training.  It remains to be determined how useful this behavioral plasticity can be in wild L. thermalis populations exposed to introduced Tilapia. 

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Tapkir, S.D., Kharat, S.S., Kumkar, P. and Gosavi, S.M. 2017. Effects of the invasive Tilapia on the Common Spiny Loach (Cypriniformes: Cobitidae: Lepidocephalichthys thermalis) - implications for conservation. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 9, 9 (Sep. 2017), 10642–10648. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.2220.9.9.10642-10648.
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Author Biographies

Sandip D. Tapkir, Department of Zoology, Modern College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Ganeshkhind, Pune, Maharashtra, 411 016, India

Sandip D. Tapkir is working on the prey predator interactions in aquatic organisms, gut microbiome of the animals and also interested in freshwater fish diversity. 

Sanjay S. Kharat, Department of Zoology, Modern College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Ganeshkhind, Pune, Maharashtra, 411 016, India

Sanjay S. Kharat is working on diversity and distribution of freshwater fishes in the northern Western Ghats of India. 

Pradeep Kumkar, Department of Zoology, Modern College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Ganeshkhind, Pune, Maharashtra 411016, India

Pradeep Kumkar is working on diversity, distribution, ecology and evolution of freshwater fishes.

Sachin M. Gosavi, Department of Zoology, Modern College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Ganeshkhind, Pune, Maharashtra 411 016, India

Sachin M. Gosavi is a PhD student, conducting his doctoral study in Department of Zoology, Modern College, Ganeshkhind. He works on behavior biology and ecology of aquatic animals.

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