Feeding strategies of an organism depend on the multimodal sensory processing that most efficiently integrates available visual, chemosensory, and/or mechanoreceptive cues as part of their environmental adaptation. The blind cavefish morph of Astyanax mexicanus has developed sensory-dependent behaviors to find food more efficiently than their eyed, surface-morph counterparts while in darkness. In the absence of light, adult cavefish have evolved enhanced behaviors, such as vibration attraction behavior (VAB), and changes in feeding angle. Here, we identified evolved differences in cavefish larval prey capture (LPC) behavior. In the dark, LPC is more efficient in cavefish than in surface fish. Furthermore, different cave populations express laterality in their LPC and strike towards prey preferentially located on their left or right sides. This suggests the occurrence, to some extent, of divergent LPC evolution among cave populations. While LPC can be triggered exclusively by a vibration stimulus in both surface and cavefish, we provide evidence that LPC is, at least partially, a multimodal sensory process different from adult VAB. We also found that a lack of food may exacerbate the laterality of LPC. Thus, we proposed a mathematical model for explaining laterality based on a balance between: (1) enlarged range of foraging field (behavioral or perceptive) due to asymmetry, (2) food abundance, and (3) disadvantages caused by laterality (unequal lateral hydrodynamic resistance when swimming, allocation of resources for the brain and receptors, and predator escape).

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