• Barbara Schmitz

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Snapping behaviour in intraspecific agonistic encounters in the snapping shrimp (Alpheus heterochaelis)

      Barbara Schmitz Jens Herberholz

      More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF

      During intraspecific agonistic encounters in snapping shrimp (Alpheus heterochaelis) the behaviour of the snapper, emitting a fast water jet by very rapid closure of the large modified snapper claw, and the receiver was analysed by single frame video analysis before, during, and after the snap. During snapping the opponents usually face each other. Snapping is most frequently preceded by touch of frontal appendages. The snapping animal keeps its snapper claw slightly across the midline, shielding frontal body parts, and its tailfan bent downwards. The mean claw cocking duration (generating muscle tension) before snapping amounts to about 500 ms. In 58% of the snaps, the snapper claw pointed at the opponent, its claws, densely covered with sensory hairs, representing the main target of the water jet. The mean distance for these directed snaps was 0.9 cm, while undirected snaps were emitted from larger distances of on average 3.4 cm. The snapper usually withdraws immediately after snapping, the receiver approaches. Initial snaps are often answered by return snaps and both are emitted from smaller distances and hit more often than subsequent snaps.

    • Decapod crustacean chelipeds: an overview

      Pitchaimuthu Mariappan Chellam Balasundaram Barbara Schmitz

      More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF

      The structure, growth, differentiation and function of crustacean chelipeds are reviewed. In many decapod crustaceans growth of chelae is isometric with allometry level reaching unity till the puberty moult. Afterwards the same trend continues in females, while in males there is a marked spurt in the level of allometry accompanied by a sudden increase in the relative size of chelae. Subsequently they are differentiated morphologically into crusher and cutter making them heterochelous and sexually dimorphic. Of the two, the major chela is used during agonistic encounters while the minor is used for prey capture and grooming. Various biotic and abiotic factors exert a negative effect on cheliped growth. The dimorphic growth pattern of chelae can be adversely affected by factors such as parasitic infection and substrate conditions. Display patterns of chelipeds have an important role in agonistic and aggressive interactions. Of the five pairs of pereiopods, the chelae are versatile organs of offence and defence which also make them the most vulnerable for autotomy. Regeneration of the autotomized chelipeds imposes an additional energy demand called “regeneration load” on the incumbent, altering energy allocation for somatic and/or reproductive processes. Partial withdrawal of chelae leading to incomplete exuviation is reported for the first time in the laboratory and field inMacrobrachiumspecies.

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