Lobster Bioacoustics

While acoustic communication is common in many marine species, it has received little attention in the American lobster. In recent work we have demonstrated that American lobsters are capable of both producing and detecting low frequency sounds. They produce sounds, with an average frequency of 183 Hz, by vibrating their carapace using the remotor and promotor muscles of their second antennae. They are most sensitive to sounds in this same frequency range, although they are capable of detecting sounds between 20 and 10,000 Hz. They tend to produce these sounds when grasped or threatened, but their purpose remains elusive.

1. Record and characterize sounds produced by lobsters of both sexes over a broad range of sizes
2. Investigate the mechanism of sound production.
3. Determine the frequency range of waterborne sounds detectable to American lobsters and locate sensory receptors.
4. Determine if there are any sensory differences between juvenile and mature lobsters and males and females.