Sound production in Caribbean spiny lobster Panulirus argus and its role in escape during predatory attack by Octopus briareus

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2009
Authors:P. E. Bouwma, Herrnkind W. F.
Journal:New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research
ISBN Number:0028-8330
Keywords:.Animalia ..Arthropoda ...Crustacea ....Malacostraca .....Eumalacostraca ......Eucarida .......Decapoda ........Reptantia .........Palinura ..Mollusca ...Cephalopoda ....Coleoidea .....Octopoda, Acoustic signals, Agonistic behaviour, Avoidance behaviour, Behaviour, Communication, Crustacean prey, Defensive behaviour, Defensive sound production, Defensive sound production & escape behaviour, Diet, Ecology, Escape behaviour, Molluscan predators, Nutrition, Octopus briareus, Octopus briareus : (Octopoda) : Predator, Panulirus argus, Panulirus argus : (Palinura) : Prey, Population dynamics, Predators, Prey, Survival, Survival probability

The production of sound (commonly called stridulation) in spiny lobsters when disturbed by humans is well documented but its function during encounters with natural predators remains largely undocumented. Caribbean spiny lobsters Panulirus argus stridulate during tailflip escape attempts in response to grasping of the carapace or antennae by human divers. We hypothesised that stridulating may be effective against predators like octopus which grasp the carapace and antennae during attacks in a way similar to human divers. In this study, we examined defensive sound production during,nighttime encounters with Caribbean reef octopus Octopus briareus to determine how P. argus use stridulation and whether it improves survival. In staged nighttime encounters with octopus, lobsters stridulated both during grasping attacks by octopus and after being captured and restrained. Stridulating lobsters escaped from attacking octopuses more frequently and remained uncaptured longer during encounters than experimentally muted individuals. We discuss ecological and evolutionary implications for these data in lobster species that produce sounds when grasped.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith