Effects of chemical communication on fighting and mating interactions in the crayfish Faxonius virilis Public
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We conducted two experiments to determine the impact of chemical communication in fighting and mating interactions between Faxonius virilis crayfish. We tested the hypotheses that if crayfish are exposed to chemical signals from conspecifics prior to a contest, they would obtain information that may affect fighting dynamics in the future. We did not find a clear effect of prior chemical communication on behavioral outcomes of the fights. Encounters between reproductive male and female crayfish were also used to test the hypothesis that if a male crayfish wins in a previous fight with a conspecific male, then they are more likely to have mating success with females than males that lose a previous fight. We found that the “winner effect” did not have an impact on mating interactions.
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