Descriptions of the setae on the pereiopods of scyllarid lobsters, Scyllarides aequinoctialis, S. latus, and S. nodifer, with observations on the feeding sequence during consumption of bivalves and gastropods
Lavalli, Kari L.
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CitationKL Lavalli, Cassandra Malcom, Jason Goldstein. 2017. "Descriptions of the setae on the pereiopods of scyllarid lobsters, Scyllarides aequinoctialis, S. latus, and S. nodifer, with observations on the feeding sequence during consumption of bivalves and gastropods.."
The morphological and behavioral aspects of slipper lobster feeding have remained largely unexplored. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), the gross morphological structure of all segments of the pereiopods were described for three species of scyllarid lobsters: Scyllarides aequinoctialis, S. latus, and S. nodifer. Five types of setae within three broad categories were found: simple (long and miniature), cuspidate (robust and conate), and teasel (a type of serrulate setae). Setae were arranged in a highly organized, row-like pattern on the ventral and dorsal surfaces. Cuspidate setae were found on all surfaces of all segments. Simple setae were found only on the dactyl, whereas teazel setae were concentrated on the lateral-most edge of the alate carina on the merus in S. aequinoctialis only. Comparisons among species demonstrate that S. nodifer bears the same setae and setal pattern as S. latus, but S. aequinoctialis differs. The setal patterns of slipper lobsters contrast with those of nephropid and palinurid lobsters, likely due to the more rigorous use of the pereiopods in accessing their food. Feeding sequences of S. aequinoctialis on bivalves were videotaped, analyzed as Markovian chains, and showed a complex suite of behaviors involving contact chemoreception by the antennules as part of an initial assessment of food items, followed by mouthpart and leg probing, and eventual wedging behavior as previously described for S. squammosus. Feeding sequences of S. latus on gastropods and bivalves also demonstrate extensive use of the pereiopods (instead of the mouthparts) first to pry these prey items from the substrate and then to remove the foot. Use of antennules for food assessment and recruitment of many of the perieopods for food handling with minimal use of mouthparts also contrasts with the feeding sequences typical of nephropid and palinurid lobsters and may be an important adaptation.