The suitability of a traditional testing paradigm (e.g. choice chamber) for assessing chemosensory behaviour in the Pacific hagfish, Eptatretus stoutii, was examined. Actively-swimming hagfish, tested at night, showed no preference for any region of a T-maze in the absence of a stimulus, but in the presence of an olfactory food cue, spent significantly more time in the zone where the cue was placed. Conversely, hagfish avoided spending time in the zone the fish anaesthetic 3-amino benzoic acid ethylester (MS-222) was placed, and demonstrated significantly more reversal responses in which the fish moved its body backwards. These data suggest that hagfish are an amenable model species for laboratory testing of behaviour.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec. 2019|