Chemoreception in Elysia tuca

June 17, 1999
From: Charlie Hileman

I am working this summer in the offshore mangroves of Key Largo, Florida, looking at the chemoreception of the sacoglossan Elysia tuca. I've used several techniques, but have been unable to construct a Y- or T-maze that works well for these sly sea slugs. Does someone have some experience in this field that could me some suggestions? Is a Y-maze better than a T-maze? What type of design would induce them best to make the trip up the maze?

Please forward any responses to my email address. Many thanks.

Charlie Hileman
Department of Marine Science
Chapel Hill
Summer research in Florida: 305-852-7237

Dear Charlie,
Hopefully someone visiting the Forum can help you. You don't mention whether your other experiments have shown any evidence of distance chemoreception. Perhaps the T and Y mazes you have constructed are well-designed but don't work because Elysia tuca doesn't have the ability to detect the waterborne molecules you are testing it for.

Some background information on your research would be of great interest. If you have a photo of Elysia tuca it would be nice to include it with your message.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 1999 (Jun 17). Comment on Chemoreception in Elysia tuca by Charlie Hileman. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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