Signaling between snapping shrimp includes chemical and chela (claw) displays. Both males and females perform a visual signal which is an open chela display in both aggressive and pair-forming interactions. The shrimp responds according to the sex of the other shrimp and they use chemical signals to do it. Snapping shrimp are burrow dwelling and very aggressive in defending those burrows against same sex intruders. The larger animals most often win out but smaller animals have a greater chance of winning if there is a small difference is size. The interactions between same sex shrimp can get very dangerous and escalate quickly and can end up in serious injury of death. Snapping shrimp have asymmetric chelae and the size of the larger chela is proportional to the size of the shrimp. The body sizes of opposite sex pairs are highly correlated so body size is important when pairs are formed for the snapping shrimp. The interactions between snapping shrimp frequently begin with contact by one or more of the animal's antennae. They also bring their chelae into contact with the other shrimps body. The antennae are thought to transmit chemical signals important for pair formation by transmitting signals that have sex information. (Hughes)
Slow motion pistol shrimp attack
The snapping shrimp is an incredible animal that has an amazing way of capturing prey. The fact that such a tiny animal can create such force is mind boggling. The way that the claw is shaped has a lot to do with how it is able to create a large bubble and make a deafening noise. They manipulate the flow of the water with their and are able to make the two parts of their claw come together and create a vortex of sorts in order to stun their prey. (Hess) They are a fascinating animal.
Hughes, Melissa (1995) The function of concurrent signals: visual and chemical communication in snapping shrimp. Animal Behavior, 52 247-257.
Hess, David, Christoph Brucker, et al. (2013) Vortex formation with a snapping shrimp claw. Plos one.