Amino acids as food signals for two Arctic decapods, Hyas araneus and Eupagurus pubescens

 Polish Polar Research 29 (3), 2008: 219-226

ABSTRACT: Experiments were carried out to study the impact of two amino acids (glutamic acid and arginine) and natural food extract on the behavioural responses of two Arctic decapods – the great spider crab, Hyas araneus, and the hermit crab, Eupagurus pubescens, from Grønfjorden (Spitsbergen). Decapods responded to natural food extract by maxilliped movements, chela probing, movements of the first pair of walking legs and locomotion. Glutamic acid and arginine were detected by both tested decapod species, evoking in them a strong behavioural reaction. Such response shows that E. pubescens and H. araneus have the ability to react and initiate food finding processes in response to fragmentary information carried by single amino acids such as glutamic acid or arginine.

Key words: Arctic, decapods, chemoreception, behaviour, amino acids, chemical signals

Address: Zakład Biologii Antarktyki, Polska Akademia Nauk, Ustrzycka 10/12, 02−141 Warszawa, Polska,,