Year of Graduation


Level of Access

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Department or Program


First Advisor

Amy Johnson


American lobsters (Homarus americanus) produce humming sounds by vibrating their carapace. These sounds have a fundamental frequency on the order of 100 Hz, with multiple higher harmonics. Though I found no relationship between lobster carapace length and hum frequency, I observed sounds similarly structured to hums but with frequencies an order of magnitude higher, suggesting that lobsters may use a wider range of sounds than previously thought. Using laser vibrometry, I was able to pick up high frequencies of carapace vibration that were similar to those I observed on sound recordings. Lobsters seem to hum most readily when approached from above, but many studies have found it difficult to reliably find soniferous lobsters. To find a way to reliably evoke sound production in American lobsters without contributing to the sound environment, lobsters were exposed to overhead abstract visual stimuli on a screen, after which their behavioral reactions were recorded, as well as any sound production in response to the stimulus. Lobsters responded to the screen stimulus with the same types of behaviors with which they responded to general overhead physical stimuli. This study demonstrates that American lobsters may produce high-pitched sounds and that abstract visual cues can be used as a silent tool to elicit lobster behaviors, but not sound production.