JSU Student Symposium 2020
Turn It Down! The Effects of Acoustic Stimuli on Crayfish Fighting Behavior



Faculty Mentor

Sarah Wofford, Biology


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Houston Cole Library, 11th Floor | 10:30-10:40 a.m.


Agonistic interactions are ubiquitous across animals and these behaviors can establish dominance hierarchies that play a role in mating and resource distribution. Stressful environments can have effects on this behavior, influencing these hierarchies. For example, Anthropogenic noise has been shown to negatively influence social behaviors in several aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Crayfish, like many other aquatic crustaceans, rely heavily on chemical stimuli to find food, mates, and to interact with conspecifics. However, limited studies have shown that some aquatic decapod crustaceans produce and react to acoustic stimuli. The extent to which crayfish can detect and react to acoustic stimuli is still largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential impacts of non-natural noise, in the form of introduced vibrations, influenced agonistic behaviors in crayfish. Crayfish were socially isolated from opponents for one week before being paired together for a contest. Control animals were isolated without vibrational stimuli for this period, while noise treated animals were isolated in aquaria connected to a vibrational stimulus. Dyadic contests were recorded and analyzed based on the length of the first agonistic bout as well as the maximum behavioral intensity reached during the first bout. Initial findings have not shown significant differences in contest duration or maximum intensity between control and treatment animals. These findings imply that a sound stimulus of this frequency does not play a significant role in contest dynamics, or this frequency is not a physiological or behavioral stressor.


student presentations, student papers, crayfish, social behavior, acoustics


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Structural Biology

Presentation Information

Reed, A. (2020, 12 February). Turn it down! The effects of acoustic stimuli on crayfish fighting behavior. Paper presented at the 2020 JSU Student Symposium, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL.

Turn It Down! The Effects of Acoustic Stimuli on Crayfish Fighting Behavior