The sensory systems of crustaceans (aquatic decapods and stomatopods) have adapted to a diverse range of aquatic ecosystems. Sound production in aquatic crustaceans is more widespread than previously thought, and has been shown to play a major role in many of their life-history strategies; however, there are still many gaps in our understanding of their sound reception abilities. Crustaceans have three main sensory receptors for sound – the statocyst, superficial hair cells and chordotonal organs – which are all sensitive to the particle motion component of the sound field, rather than the pressure component. Our current understanding of these receptors is that they are sensitive to low-frequency sounds (<2000 Hz). There are a wide variety of sound-producing mechanisms employed by these animals, ranging from stridulation to implosive cavitation (see Glossary). These signals are used for a range of social behaviours, such as courtship, territorial defence and assessing ‘resource guarding’. Furthermore, there are examples of sound signals that exceed their hearing range, highlighting a mismatch in our understanding of their hearing systems. This mismatch provides weight to the suggestion that another sound transmission channel – substrate-borne vibrations – might be at play, particularly because most crustaceans live on or near the seafloor. Finally, suggestions are made regarding potential future work that is needed to fill the substantial gaps in our understanding of how crustaceans hear and produce sound.

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