Seminar: Dr. Charles Derby, Georgia State University
Title: Chemical Communication in Affiliation, Aggression, and Mating of Decapod Crustaceans
Speaker: Dr. Charles Derby, Georgia State University
Abstract: Decapod crustaceans such as lobsters and crabs have highly organized peripheral and central chemosensory systems. One of these systems is a sophisticated olfactory sense mediated by aesthetasc sensilla on their first pair of antennae, whose sensors connect to the olfactory lobes in the brain. I will discuss four examples of the use of this olfactory sense in detecting chemical signals that help decapods solve daily problems in their lives. Three examples are from the Caribbean spiny lobster, Panulirus argus, which is a social species that often lives in aggregations during the day and forages at night. These behaviors are gregarious sheltering based on conspecific urine signals, alarm responses mediated by conspecific blood, and modulation of aggression during social interactions using urine-based social signals. The fourth topic is the use of sex pheromones in courtship and mating in blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus. Our experimental approach is that of neuroecology, which includes identifying bioactive compounds, studying how these cues are used in modulating behavior, detailing the sensory and neural basis for these behaviors, and understanding how evolution shapes these processes.