Articles | Volume 24, issue 1
Short communication
19 Mar 2024
Short communication |  | 19 Mar 2024

Short communication: Problems of classifying predator-induced prey immobility – an unexpected case of post-contact freezing

Teresita N. Ulate Gómez, Antonia E. Welch, and Winfried S. Peters

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Cited articles

Asakura, M., Matsumura, K., Ishihara, R., and Miyatake, T.: Freezing or death-feigning? Beetles selected for long death feigning showed different tactics against different predators, Ecol. Evol., 12, e8533,, 2022. 
Carli, G. and Farabollini, F.: Synthesis of defense response characteristics, Prog. Brain Res., 271, 331–337,, 2022. 
Caro, T.: Antipredator defenses in birds and mammals, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, ISBN 0-226-09436-7, 2005. 
Chelini, M. C., Willemart, R. H., and Hebets, E. A.: Costs and benefits of freezing behaviour in the harvestman Eumesossoma roeweri (Arachnida, Opiliones), Behav. Process., 82, 153–159,, 2009. 
Cooper, W. E. and Blumstein, D. T. (Eds.): Escaping from predators, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, ISBN 1-107-63063-0, 2018. 
Short summary
Prey noticing a predator may freeze (turn immobile) to avoid detection. Freezing is generally thought to precede predator–prey contact, but this may not hold for species of limited sensory abilities. The snail Agaronia detects its prey Pachyoliva, another snail, only when it is right before the predator, while Pachyoliva bumping into Agaronia's side avoids detection by freezing. This post-contact freezing reminds us to consider sensory capabilities when interpreting predator–prey interactions.