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Crayfish Mating

Crayfish mate in the early spring and females carry the fertilized, developing eggs inside their bodies for 4 to 6 weeks. These developing eggs are then transferred to the outside of the female’s body and glued with a sticky substance called “glair” to the female’s tail. The eggs then hatch by the end of spring.

One of the more interesting facts about crayfish copulation is that it is preceded by a relatively unusual courtship ritual.  Females release a steady stream of urine in order to attract a mate. Their urine is an aphrodisiac, attracting numerous males.  When males approach the female she responds aggressively, fighting the males in a quest to find the most fit one to mate with.  The female only stops resisting if the male can flip her over so that he can deposit his sperm on her underside.  (Photo by Owen Astbury)

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9 responses

  1. Alice

    Animals have evolved to attract mates in so many varied ways.

    April 15, 2020 at 8:28 am

  2. Another really interesting batch of information, Mary! And did you take this photo recently, or is it one that’s in your “archive”? Thanks, once again!

    April 15, 2020 at 9:03 am

    • Hi Dell,
      I did not take the photo (wish I had!), Owen Astbury did. I believe he took it within the last week or two. Best, Mary

      April 15, 2020 at 10:31 am

  3. Stein

    I love “glair” as a Scrabble or Words with Friends word. It also means “to coat with egg white”. I love learning new stuff in this time of COVID… And, Mary, thanks again for your wonderful posts.

    April 15, 2020 at 9:36 am

    • That’s nice to know, Stein. I had never heard the term before I read about crayfish mating, so you’re one up (at least) on me!

      April 15, 2020 at 10:32 am

  4. hellomolly

    Sounds like fun! What a great test of strength!

    April 15, 2020 at 11:23 am

  5. Sally

    Feisty female!

    April 15, 2020 at 11:44 am

  6. Brenda. Skillin

    Sent from my iPad


    April 15, 2020 at 12:23 pm

  7. kathiefive

    The similarities and differences with lobsters are interesting!

    April 16, 2020 at 9:03 am

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