Induction and duration of tonic immobility in the lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris

Mitchell Aaron Watsky, Samuel H. Gruber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Tonic immobility (TI) is an unlearned behavioral response characterized by a state of immobility and torpor. Effect of inter-trial interval on duration of tonic immobility was assessed in thirty, juvenile lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris). Regression analyses showed that massed trials of 12 per session increased the average duration of tonic immobility by 475 sec compared to spaced trials of 1 per session. Each experiment was composed of 24 trials. TI is stable and durations much longer in the lemon shark than for other sharks. These findings have enabled us to develop a quantitative bioassay for use in testing chemical shark repellents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-210
Number of pages4
JournalFish Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • and shark repellent
  • behavior
  • bioassay
  • elasmobranch
  • Negaprion
  • shark

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Aquatic Science


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