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Interspecific activity of the sex pheromone of the European shore crab (Carcinus maenas)

Hardege, Joerg; Bublitz, Ralf; Sainte-Marie, Bernard; Hardege, Jorg; Newcomb-Hodgetts, Chloe; Fletcher, Nichola; Smith, Michelle; Hardege, Jörg


Joerg Hardege

Ralf Bublitz

Bernard Sainte-Marie

Jorg Hardege

Chloe Newcomb-Hodgetts

Nichola Fletcher

Michelle Smith

Jörg Hardege


The recent identification of uridine diphosphate (UDP) as the female sex-pheromone in the European shore crab Carcinus maenas demonstrated not only the link between moult and pheromone production, but also how it may have evolved from a 'simple' metabolic byproduct. Consequently, it is expected to be present in other moulting crustaceans, thus raising issues involving species specificity of the female pheromone. Bioassays were conducted using synthetic pheromone (UDP, 10(-3)-10(-4) M) to examine if it induced sexual behaviour in other crustacean species that are neither closely related nor occur in the same ecosystem. The snow crab, Chionoecetes opilio, and the yellowline arrow crab, Stenorhynchus seticornis, both belonging to a different superfamily (Majoidea) and occurring in different habitats than C. maneas (Portunoidea), displayed significant sexual behaviour towards UDP treated objects (p < 0.005). These and other examples demonstrate that the female sex-pheromone UDP is not species-specific but is present and active in some other decapod crustaceans.


Bublitz, R., Sainte-Marie, B., Newcomb-Hodgetts, C., Fletcher, N., Smith, M., & Hardege, J. (2008). Interspecific activity of the sex pheromone of the European shore crab (Carcinus maenas). Behaviour, 145(10), 1465-1478.

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Acceptance Date Dec 31, 2008
Publication Date Oct 1, 2008
Print ISSN 0005-7959
Electronic ISSN 1568-539X
Publisher Brill Academic Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 145
Issue 10
Pages 1465-1478
Keywords Animal Science and Zoology; Behavioral Neuroscience
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