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INDIVIDUAL AND STATUS RECOGNITION IN THE CRAYFISH, ORCONECTES RUSTICUS: THE EFFECTS OF URINE RELEASE ON FIGHT DYNAMICS

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This study examined individual and status recognition in dyadic interactions between crayfish and determines how blocking the release of urine, a known source of chemical cues, may influence recognition. Behavioral characteristics of agonistic interactions were compared between crayfish pairs that fought each other previously (familiar) and pairs derived from individuals with past status history but no previous experience with one another (unfamiliar). To address the role of urine born chemical cues in recognition, fight dynamics were examined in urine blocked and non-blocked familiar and unfamiliar pairs. Our results indicate the existence of status recognition in crayfish as first fights were longer than second fights and the statistical interaction between fight number and familiar/unfamiliar treatment was similar. Urine cues play a role in social recognition in that fights are longer and more intense when urine cues are absent than when urine cues are present. Communication of behavioral state through urine appears to play an important role in the agonistic interactions of crayfish.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory for Sensory Ecology, Department of Biological Sciences, Bowling Green State University; J.P. Scott Center for Neuroscience, Mind, and Behavior, Bowling Green State University; 2: J.P. Scott Center for Neuroscience, Mind, and Behavior, Bowling Green State University; 3: Laboratory for Sensory Ecology, Department of Biological Sciences, Bowling Green State University; J.P. Scott Center for Neuroscience, Mind, and Behavior, Bowling Green State University

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