Confusion Effect in a Reptilian and a Primate Predator
Article first published online: 25 DEC 2001
Volume 106, Issue 8, pages 691–700, August 2000
How to Cite
Schradin, C. (2000), Confusion Effect in a Reptilian and a Primate Predator. Ethology, 106: 691–700. doi: 10.1046/j.1439-0310.2000.00582.x
- Issue published online: 25 DEC 2001
- Article first published online: 25 DEC 2001
The confusion effect is claimed to be one benefit of group living with respect to predator avoidance: it is more difficult for predators to capture prey that is surrounded by other conspecifics than to capture an isolated individual. So far, the predictions of the confusion effect have been tested mainly in aquatic predators. As the confusion effect is seen to be a general problem for predators, terrestrial predators of two different vertebrate classes were used to test it. The prey (mealworms and black beetles, Tenebrio molitor) was harmless and had no chance of predator avoidance. Thus, confounding effects of group defence and enhanced vigilance were controlled. Both leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) and common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) took longer to catch one out of several prey compared to one single prey. Leopard geckos showed more fixations (changing of head position) when confronted with 20 mealworms than when confronted with only one mealworm, thus showing indications of being ‘confused’.