Taylor, J.R.A. and S.N. Patek. 2009. Crustacean seismic communication: heard but not present?. In: The Use of Vibrations in Communication: Properties, Mechanisms and Function Across Taxa, ed. C. E. O'Connell-Rodwell, Research Signpost.
In: The Use of Vibrations in Communication: properties, mechanisms and function across taxa, ed. C. E. O'Connell-Rodwell, Research Signpost.
Acoustic systems have independently evolved numerous times in crustaceans. Their sound-generating mechanisms range from stick-slip friction in spiny lobsters to stridulation in crabs. Coupled with this mechanical diversity is a wide range of modalities through which these sounds are transmitted - from substrate vibrations to multi-modal near-field signals. The majority of documented crustacean sounds are thought to be transmitted through the air or water. Far fewer described sounds have been demonstrated to propagate through the substrate as seismic communication. This is surprising, because while pressure-sensitive ears remain elusive in marine crustaceans (although present in some terrestrial crabs), sensitivity to vibrations has been widely documented in crustaceans. This mismatch between knowledge of sound production mechanisms and reception mechanisms is puzzling and can probably be ascribed to biologists not listening for substrate-borne sounds, although they are both present and probably widespread in crustaceans. Thus, we review the known or proposed mechanisms of substrate-borne sound in crustaceans, primarily in terrestrial crabs, as well as examine the mechanisms of seismic sound reception.