Lobsters are capable of communicating with one another through creative methods that vary between species and that we do not yet fully comprehend. These methods include vibrations, sounds, and even pheromones from urine, which not only helps them find a mate but also establishes hierarchical social order to reduce fighting; some lobsters may even squirt urine in each other’s faces to communicate.
In addition to using pheromones, lobsters also have the ability to create sounds through vibrations, which they use to communicate with their peers; the sounds can serve as warnings about predators, signal the presence of prey or scare away predators, while others may simply help them communicate their presence to other sea life.
Lobsters are extremely varied in terms of species, anatomy, habitat, and more, meaning their methods of communicating are highly diverse; we can’t guarantee that what works for one species will work for the rest. We need to study them more to understand their different methods of communications.
You may be familiar with the Maine clawed lobster, which is commonly consumed by humans, but there are over 60 different types of clawed lobster cousins and surprising-looking species in their family tree, including but not limited to clawless spiny lobster and the squat lobster.
Are lobsters social?
The social habits of lobsters greatly depend on the species. Clawed lobsters, for example, are typically solitary, except during breeding season, when they look for a mate and protect their eggs. Spiny lobsters or crayfish, on the other hand, are social and live together in large groups for safety and easier migration. Though they have different behaviors given their social or solitary nature, both types of lobsters need to communicate with each other somehow.
How do lobsters communicate with each other?
Various methods allow lobsters to communicate with each other, including sounds and the release of pheromones through their pee. Surprisingly, lobsters can pee out of their eyes to release pheromones, which helps them communicate critical information about their social status and availability for mating.
How do lobsters communicate using sound?
Clawed lobsters with vibrating carapaces and spiny lobsters that screech and rasp generate sounds that serve many purposes other than communication; males use different types of noise to make themselves heard over other noises, or to establish their sexual status, and they also broadcast their presence to other sea life.
Can lobsters hear?
Lobsters detect the sounds produced by other lobsters using delicate structures called hairfans found all over their bodies, not by ears.
How do lobsters communicate using chemicals?
The pee of certain species of lobsters contains pheromones that they use to communicate important social information, such as dominance or interest in mating, with other lobsters, which detect these pheromones using their antennae.
The language of love and lobster mating habits
The strongest male lobsters get to mate, and most of the fighting between male lobsters is to establish hierarchical social order, identify the strongest mate and pass on the best survival opportunity for offspring. As the breeding season progresses, the need for fighting may decrease, and some male lobsters then squirt urine pheromones at one another’s faces to establish the stronger one.
Attracting females requires females to spray urine at males’ faces as a sign of receptivity towards mating. Overall it’s a unique way that lobsters have evolved to find a mate while keeping fights and injuries to a minimum.
How lobsters communicate – summary
The diverse methods lobsters use to communicate is fascinating, although the different techniques between species vary greatly, with pheromone-laden urine being the most established method in establishing social dominance; while they have evolved to have different ways of communicating, all lobsters somehow find ways to communicate with one another.
Share any fun lobster facts you know in the comments!
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