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Naturwissenschaften

, 96:103 | Cite as

Sex identification in female crayfish is bimodal

  • Laura Aquiloni
  • Alessandro Massolo
  • Francesca Gherardi
Original Paper

Abstract

Sex identification has been studied in several species of crustacean decapods but only seldom was the role of multimodality investigated in a systematic fashion. Here, we analyse the effect of single/combined chemical and visual stimuli on the ability of the crayfish Procambarus clarkii to identify the sex of a conspecific during mating interactions. Our results show that crayfish respond to the offered stimuli depending on their sex. While males rely on olfaction alone for sex identification, females require the combination of olfaction and vision to do so. In the latter, chemical and visual stimuli act as non-redundant signal components that possibly enhance the female ability to discriminate potential mates in the crowded social context experienced during mating period. This is one of the few clear examples in invertebrates of non-redundancy in a bimodal communication system.

Keywords

Bimodal communication Sex identification Crayfish Procambarus clarkii 

Notes

Acknowledgement

We are grateful to three anonymous referees for their helpful suggestions. The study complies with the Italian laws of animal treatment in research.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Aquiloni
    • 1
  • Alessandro Massolo
    • 2
  • Francesca Gherardi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Department of Ecosystem and Public HealthUniversity of CalgaryNW CalgaryCanada

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