Fathead minnows are commonly preyed upon by piscivorous fish such as northern pike, yellow perch, largemouth bass and walleye. An important antipredator tactic is their ability to warn conspecifics of potential threats via pheromones. From distinctive epidermal club cells, fathead minnows release an alarm substance in response to mechanical cell damage other species of the nearby threat. Such cues also have the potential to attract additional predators that could disrupt the predation event. If others can disrupt the predation event and facilitate escape, warning signals may benefit other species as well as wounded prey. Interestingly, mature males lose this capability during the breeding months.
- northern pike
- yellow perch
- largemouth bass
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