Presentation Title

The effect of conspecific alarm cues on aggressive behavior in Procambarus clarkii

Presentation Type

Poster

Keywords

alarm cues, behavior, conservation, crayfish

Department

Biology

Major

Biology

Abstract

Following their introduction to the streams of the Santa Monica Mountains, Red Swamp Crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, have caused vast damage to the ecosystem, both directly and indirectly. Due to their extensive eating habits, high levels of aggression, and responsiveness to environmental stimuli, P. clarkii have a significant impact on the success of native species in the Santa Monica Mountains. Through exposure to various chemical cues, crayfish are able to perceive threats and react accordingly. In order to determine the extent of such chemoreception, pairs of P. clarkii were tested in the laboratory for aggression in the presence and absence of a conspecific alarm cue. The aggressive behaviors were measured using a scale of 0-6, with 0 as acts of non-aggression (back away, no approach), and 6 as highest level of aggression (offensive tail flip). The addition of an alarm cue resulted in a reduction in the average total aggression per crayfish and a reduction in the average aggression score per 10 second interval. These findings portray the significance of conspecific chemical cue detection on the behavior of invasive crayfish.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Lee Kats

Funding Source or Research Program

Academic Year Undergraduate Research Initiative

Location

Waves Cafeteria

Start Date

29-3-2019 2:00 PM

End Date

29-3-2019 3:00 PM

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Mar 29th, 2:00 PM Mar 29th, 3:00 PM

The effect of conspecific alarm cues on aggressive behavior in Procambarus clarkii

Waves Cafeteria

Following their introduction to the streams of the Santa Monica Mountains, Red Swamp Crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, have caused vast damage to the ecosystem, both directly and indirectly. Due to their extensive eating habits, high levels of aggression, and responsiveness to environmental stimuli, P. clarkii have a significant impact on the success of native species in the Santa Monica Mountains. Through exposure to various chemical cues, crayfish are able to perceive threats and react accordingly. In order to determine the extent of such chemoreception, pairs of P. clarkii were tested in the laboratory for aggression in the presence and absence of a conspecific alarm cue. The aggressive behaviors were measured using a scale of 0-6, with 0 as acts of non-aggression (back away, no approach), and 6 as highest level of aggression (offensive tail flip). The addition of an alarm cue resulted in a reduction in the average total aggression per crayfish and a reduction in the average aggression score per 10 second interval. These findings portray the significance of conspecific chemical cue detection on the behavior of invasive crayfish.