The modality of the dominance signal in snapping shrimp (Alpheus heterochaelis) and the corresponding setal types on the antennules
Obermeier, M.; Schmitz, B.
Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology 37(2): 109-126
ISSN/ISBN: 1023-6244 DOI: 10.1080/10236240410001705770
Previous behavioural experiments showed that snapping shrimp lacking lateral antennular filaments, i.e. without chemosensory aesthetascs, lose the ability to distinguish between conspecifics that are inexperienced in fighting and former winners. A chemosensory dominance signal was assumed to be present, although other receptors unique to the lateral filaments may have been responsible for the behavioural changes. In the present study, the antennules of snapping shrimp were examined for differences between the lateral and medial antennule filaments to identify the modality of the dominance signal. We found six different types of setae and two types of pores. A new probably bimodal setal type is described, the broad long simple seta. Only the chemosensory aesthetascs and their associated hydrosensory companion setae are unique to the lateral filament. Thus we conclude that the dominance signal is chemical, because a hydrodynamic signal would be also received by the simple setae distributed on both filaments.