Identifying Temporal Differences in Vibration Receptor Activation in the Sand Fiddler Crab, Uca Pugilator

Andre' Matthew Agassi


Substrate vibration is used in numerous organisms as a means of communication. Herein we explore the role of substrate vibration in the process of localization in Uca Pugilator, the sand fiddler crab, by tracking temporal differences in receptor activation. Extracellular recordings of receptor activity were amplified and analyzed. Analogous systems are outlined and applied to our case, including relevant information from studies on scorpions. It seems the fiddler crab uses a spatial array of vibration- sensitive receptors to localize sound sources. Our behavioral studies, along with others’, show that fiddler crabs are able to process these time differences on a millisecond scale. Studies are ongoing to determine how central neural pathways process this vital information.