FRESHWATER CRAYFISH | 2011| vol. 18| issue 1 | Research Article
 
doi: 10.5869/fc.2011.v18.13 | 
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Full Citation: Espinoza SY and Faulkes Z (2011). Escaping while defenseless or blind: Effects of sensory input on tailflipping in the crayfish Procambarus clarkii (Girard, 1852). Freshwater Crayfish 18(1): 13-17.



Escaping while defenseless or blind: Effects of sensory input on tailflipping in the crayfish Procambarus clarkii (Girard, 1852)

Espinoza SY and Faulkes Z

Abstract:
Crayfish escape from unexpected stimuli by tailflipping. The neural basis of tailflipping is well understood, and is a model for simple decision making. A crayfish’s propensity to tailflip can be modulated by many factors, such as social status. The sensory stimuli associated are usually so complex that it is difficult to determine which sensory cues are the most relevant to modulating the neural circuits controlling tailflipping. We tested whether removing sensory input from the chelae or the eyes would enhance tailflipping in Procambarus clarkii (Girard, 1852). Removing sensory input from even one chela significantly increased the distance that crayfish tailflipped. Removing visual input significantly increased the probability of tailflipping, but not the distance tailflipped. This enhancement of tailflipping may be due to impairing crayfish’s ability to perform defense responses, rather than simply removing sensory input to the tailflipping circuits directly.

Keywords: chelae; escape response; Louisiana red swamp crayfish; sensory modulation; tailflip; vision

Article Language: English


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