Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 107, Issue 3, pp 275–292 | Cite as

The control of antennal movements by leg proprioceptors in the rock lobster,Palinurus vulgaris

  • François Clarac
  • Douglas M. Neil
  • Jean -Pierre Vedel


The antennae of the rock lobster,Palinurus vulgaris, show systematic responses to movements of the legs on a tilting footboard. Myographic recordings in muscles of the first antennal segment have been used in an analysis of the sensory basis of these reactions. Antennal posture is modified in the experimental apparatus, although its relation to the change in loading conditions of the legs is uncertain. The motor control of the antennal equilibrium responses involves a complete reciprocation between both excitatory and inhibitory motoneurones to the antagonist muscle groups in the two antennae. Sensory inputs from single legs produce movements of both antennae, but a stronger drive ipsilaterally. Leg receptor inputs also modulate antennal resistance reflexes in a systematic manner, providing a sensitive test for the involvement of particular receptor organs in the leg. Movement at the coxo-basal leg joint is a major source of sensory input, and ablation/ stimulation experiments have established that stimulation of the CB chordotonal organ is a necessary but not sufficient condition to produce the antennal equilibrium reactions. The possibility is discussed that other receptors at the coxo-basal joint are also involved.


Sensory Input Antennal Segment Equilibrium Response Receptor Input Rock Lobster 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alexandrowicz, J.S.: Further observations on proprioceptors in Crustacea and a hypothesis about their function. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K.37, 379–396 (1958)Google Scholar
  2. Alexandrowicz, J.S.: Receptor organs in the coxal region ofPalinurus vulgaris. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K.47, 415–432 (1967)Google Scholar
  3. Alexandrowicz, J.S., Whitear, M.: Receptor elements in the coxal region of Decapoda Crustacea. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K.36, 603–628 (1957)Google Scholar
  4. Barnes, W.J.P., Spirito, C.P., Evoy, W.H.: Nervous control of walking in the crabCardisoma guanhumi. II. Role of resistance reflexes in walking. Z. vergl. Physiol.76, 16–31 (1972)Google Scholar
  5. Bowerman, R.F., Larimer, J.L.: Command fibres in circumoesophageal connectives of crayfish. I. Tonic fibres. J. exp. Biol.60, 95–117 (1974a)Google Scholar
  6. Bowerman, R.F., Larimer, J.L.: Command fibres in circumoesophageal connectives of crayfish. II. Phasic fibres. J. exp. Biol.60, 119–134 (1974b)Google Scholar
  7. Burke, W.: An organ for proprioception and vibration sense inCarcinus maenas. J. exp. Biol.31, 127–138 (1954)Google Scholar
  8. Bush, B.M.H.: A comparative study of certain limb reflexes in decapod crustaceans. Comp. Biochem. Physiol.10, 273–290 (1963)Google Scholar
  9. Bush, B.M.H.: Proprioception by the coxo-basal chordotonal organ, CB, in the legs of the crabCarcinus maenas. J. exp. Biol.42, 285–298 (1965a)Google Scholar
  10. Bush, B.M.H.: Leg reflexes from chordotonal organs in the crabCarcinus maenas. Comp. Biochem. Physiol.15, 567–587 (1965b)Google Scholar
  11. Bush, B.M.H., Clarac, F.: Intersegmental reflex excitation of leg muscles and myochordotonal efferents in decapod Crustacea. J. Physiol. (Lond.)246, 58P (1975)Google Scholar
  12. Clarac, F.: Proprioception by the ischio-meropodite region in legs of the crabCarcinus mediterraneus. Z. vergl. Physiol.61, 224–245 (1968)Google Scholar
  13. Clarac, F., Dando, M.R.: Tension receptor reflexes in the walking legs of the crabCancer pagurus. Nature (Lond.)243, 94–95 (1973)Google Scholar
  14. Clarac, F., Masson, C.: Anatomie comparée des propriocepteurs de la région basi-ischio-méropodite chez certains Crustacés décapodes. Z. vergl. Physiol.65, 242–273 (1969)Google Scholar
  15. Clarac, F., Vedel, J.P.: Etude des relations fonctionelles entre le muscle fléchisseur accessoire et les organes sensoriels chordotonaux des appendices locomoteurs de la LangoustePalinurus vulgaris. Z. vergl. Physiol.72, 386–410 (1971)Google Scholar
  16. Clarac, F., Vedel, J.P.: Neurophysiological study of the antennal motor patterns in the rock lobsterPalinurus vulgaris. I. Reflex modulation of extensor and flexor motoneurone activities. J. comp. Physiol.102, 201–221 (1975a)Google Scholar
  17. Clarac, F., Vedel, J.P.: Proprioception by chordotonal and myochordotonal organs in the walking legs of the rock lobster,Palinurus vulgaris. Mar. Behav. Physiol.3, 157–166 (1975b)Google Scholar
  18. Dijkgraaf, S.: Kompensatorische Augenstieldrehung und ihre Auslösung bei der Languste (Palinurus vulgaris). Z. vergl. Physiol.38, 491–520 (1956)Google Scholar
  19. Eckert, B.: Über das Zusammenwirken des erregenden und des hemmenden Neurons des M. abductor der Krebsschere beim Ablauf von Reflexen des myotatischen Typus. Z. vergl. Physiol.41, 500–526 (1959)Google Scholar
  20. Evoy, W.H., Cohen, M.J.: Sensory and motor interactions in the locomotor reflexes of crabs. J. exp. Biol.51, 151–170 (1969)Google Scholar
  21. Fields, H.L.: Proprioceptive control of posture in the crayfish abdomen. J. exp. Biol.44, 455–468 (1966)Google Scholar
  22. Fraser, P.J.: Interneurones in crab connectives (Carcinus maenas (L)): directional statocyst fibres. J. exp. Biol.61, 615–628 (1974)Google Scholar
  23. Hartman, H.B., Austin, W.D.: Proprioceptor organs in the antennae of Decapoda Crustacea. I. Physiology of a chordotonal organ spanning two joints in the spiny lobsterPanulirus interruptus R. J. comp. Physiol.81, 187–202 (1972)Google Scholar
  24. Kennedy, D.: Control of motor output. In: Control of posture and locomotion (R.K. Stein, K.B. Pearson, R.S. Smith, J.B. Redford, eds). Adv. in behav. Biol.7, 429–436 (1973)Google Scholar
  25. Larimer, J.L., Kennedy, D.: Innervation patterns of fast and slow muscle in the uropods of crayfish. J. exp. Biol.51, 119–133 (1969a)Google Scholar
  26. Larimer, J.L., Kennedy, D.: The central nervous control of complex movements in the uropods of crayfish. J. exp. Biol.51, 135–150 (1969b)Google Scholar
  27. Laverack, M.S.: The organisation and distribution of CAP organs in the lobsterHomarus gammarus (L.). Tissue and Cell, in press (1976)Google Scholar
  28. Macmillan, D.L., Dando, M.R.: Tension receptors on the apodemes of muscles in the walking legs of the crab,Cancer magister. Mar. Behav. Physiol.1, 185–208 (1972)Google Scholar
  29. Moody, C.J.: A proximally directed intersegmental reflex in a walking leg of the crayfish. Amer. Zool.10, 501 (1970)Google Scholar
  30. Page, C.H., Sokolove, P.G.: Crayfish muscle receptor organ: role in regulation of postural flexion. Science175, 647–650 (1972)Google Scholar
  31. Paterson, N.F.: On the anatomy of the Cape rock lobsterJasus lalandii. Ann. S. Afr. Mus.51, 72 (1968)Google Scholar
  32. Pringle, J.W.S.: Proprioception in insects. I. A new type of mechanical receptor from the palps of the cockroach. J. exp. Biol.15, 101–113 (1938)Google Scholar
  33. Schöne, H., Neil, D.M., Stein, A., Carlstead, M.K.: Reactions of the rock lobsterPalinurus vulgaris to substrate tilt. J. comp. Physiol.107, 113–128 (1976)Google Scholar
  34. Sokolove, P.G.: Crayfish stretch receptor and motor unit behaviour during abdominal extensions. J. comp. Physiol.84, 251–266 (1973)Google Scholar
  35. Snodgrass, R.E.: Comparative studies on the head of mandibulate arthropods. New York: Comstock Publishing Company Inc., associated with Cornell University Press (1951)Google Scholar
  36. Spirito, C.P.: Reflex control of the opener and stretcher muscles in the cheliped of the fiddler crabUca pugnax. Z. vergl. Physiol.68, 211–228 (1970)Google Scholar
  37. Vedel, J.P., Clarac, F.: Neurophysiological study of the antennal motor patterns in the rock lobsterPalinurus vulgaris. II. Motoneuronal discharge patterns during passive and active flagellum movements. J. comp. Physiol.102, 223–235 (1975)Google Scholar
  38. Wales, W., Clarac, F., Dando, M.R., Laverack, M.S.: Innervation of the receptors present at the various joints of the periopods and third maxilliped ofHomarus gammarus (L.) and other macruran decapods (Crustacea). Z. vergl. Physiol.68, 345–384 (1970)Google Scholar
  39. Wiersma, C.A.C., Boettiger, E.G.: Unidirectional movement fibres from a proprioceptive organ of the crabCarcinus maenas. J. exp. Biol.36, 102–112 (1959)Google Scholar
  40. York, B., Yanagisawa, H., Wiersma, C.A.G.: Input sources and properties of position-sensitive oculomotor fibres in the rock lobster,Panulirus interruptus (Randall). J. exp. Biol.57, 229–238 (1972)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • François Clarac
    • 1
  • Douglas M. Neil
    • 2
  • Jean -Pierre Vedel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut de Neurophysiologie & Psychophysiologie du C.N.R.S., INP 4-31Chemin J. AiguierMarseille Cedex 2France
  2. 2.Gatty Marine LaboratoryUniversity of St. AndrewsSt. AndrewsScotland, UK

Personalised recommendations