Preprint Hypothesis Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Understanding the Role of Arsenic in Camouflage Strategy: A Study with Common River Prawn

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Version 1 : Received: 23 February 2022 / Approved: 1 March 2022 / Online: 1 March 2022 (16:29:06 CET)

How to cite: Bose, M.; Jas, K.; Barua, A.; Munshi, C. Understanding the Role of Arsenic in Camouflage Strategy: A Study with Common River Prawn . Preprints 2022, 2022030027 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202203.0027.v1). Bose, M.; Jas, K.; Barua, A.; Munshi, C. Understanding the Role of Arsenic in Camouflage Strategy: A Study with Common River Prawn . Preprints 2022, 2022030027 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202203.0027.v1).

Abstract

Camouflage is an interesting adaptation (for survivability) by organisms in terms of different aggregation or fusion of colourations. Understanding these camouflage strategies in the presence of arsenic on transparent/semi-transparent species is pretty challenging. Previously, several researchers have demonstrated that colouration or pigmentation strategy in an organism is a strategy to merge with the environment to escape from predatory threats. Our study was done on a semi-transparent freshwater prawn species which exhibits a strategy of pigment droplets on its exoskeleton. Unlike previous studies, our findings robustly indicate the fact that pigment droplets are not the only reason for colouration. The pigment droplets rather regulate the darkness of the exoskeleton. However, the transparency of the abdominal muscles additionally plays a crucial role in creating a background of the pigment droplets. The transparency muscles allow light to pass through the abdomen, thus creating a semi-transparent appearance. The degree of semi-transparency is also regulated by the intensity of light. The abdomen and the pigment droplets on the exoskeleton cumulatively as well as contrastingly maintain the transparency and the colour quotient of the prawns. In our study, we have majorly concentrated on the abdominal region of the prawns as it appears to be the key semi-transparent feature of the organism. This research is directed to an ecotoxicological aspect where we showed that arsenic in chronic non-lethal concentration, can notably alter the colouration pattern in this prawn model within a short period of time. Finally, we have used an image processing algorithm to assess the alteration of colouration in this organism.

Keywords

camouflage; colouration; arsenic; toxicity; common river prawn

Subject

BIOLOGY, Animal Sciences & Zoology

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