Several influences have been identified as important in determining aggressive (i.e. agonistic) hierarchy formation in crayfish, however the relative significance of these factors has yet to be determined. This study compares several aggressive influences, including previous winning or losing experiences, prior shelter possession, starvation, olfaction obstruction, and control treatments to determine which of these factors affect aggressive interactions to the greatest extent. The analysis will reveal which of these effects is strongest when directly confronted against one another. Each crayfish received one of the above treatments and then interacts with another size-matched crayfish that received a different treatment. All trials were recorded and then analyzed using a blind analysis scheme. Trials of each experimental treatment versus a size-matched naive crayfish have been completed to date, and the cross-comparison trials are currently in progress.
Faculty Mentor: Daniel Bergman, Biomedical Science