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Biol Bull. 2005 Jun;208(3):183-8.

Exploration in a T-maze by the crayfish Cherax destructor suggests bilateral comparison of antennal tactile information.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.


Many crayfish species inhabit murky waters or have a crepuscular lifestyle, which forces them to rely on chemical and mechanical information rather than visual input. Information on how they use one form of mechanical information-tactile cues-to explore their local environment is limited. We observed the exploratory behavior of the crayfish Cherax destructor in a T-maze under red light. Animals moved forward along the long arm of the maze and then moved equally in one of two available directions. The arm chosen by one crayfish did not affect that selected by a second crayfish tested immediately after in an unwashed maze. Previous experience in the maze also did not affect the choice. We found, however, that crayfish with one antenna denervated or splinted back to the carapace turned more often toward the unaltered side. Our data support the hypothesis that crayfish bilaterally compare information from their antennae.

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