Title

Response to putative round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) pheromones by centrarchid and percid fish species in the Laurentian Great Lakes

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Publication Title

Journal of Great Lakes Research

Volume

39

Issue

1

First Page

186

Last Page

189

DOI

10.1016/j.jglr.2012.12.011

Abstract

Pheromone trapping is an increasingly viable strategy to reduce invasive fish populations, largely due to the pheromones' function of evoking behavioral responses among conspecifics. Prior to attempting such population control techniques, the pheromones must be identified and their possible influences on non-target species addressed. The round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) is a species invasive to the Great Lakes region, and negatively impacts the ecosystem by interfering with local fish populations. At least two 5β-reduced 3α-hydroxyl steroids released by reproductive N. melanostomus (11-O-ETIO and 11-O-ETIO-3s) evoke olfactory sensory responses from the olfactory epithelium of conspecifics, and water conditioned by reproductive males (containing these steroids) attracts female round gobies. In this study, we examined whether these putative pheromones, along with simultaneously-released 11-O-ETIO-17s, stimulate olfactory sensory responses from alternative fish species sharing the same ecosystem as N. melanostomus in the Great Lakes region. Rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris), bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), and yellow perch (Perca flavescens) were the targets of an electro-olfactogram experiment designed to record responses to odors. When compared to round goby responses from previous studies, amino acids and the bile acid consistently elicited electro-olfactogram responses across all species, but only round gobies showed a response to the putative pheromones. This study supports the concept of conducting a pheromone trapping trial in the field without adversely affecting the olfactory responses of non-target fish in the area.

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