Marine Biology

, Volume 157, Issue 1, pp 1–6 | Cite as

Characterization of a sex pheromone in a simultaneous hermaphroditic shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni

  • Dong ZhangEmail author
  • Junda Lin
  • Maggy Harley
  • Jörg D. HardegeEmail author
Original Paper


Olfactory chemical cues have been described to play important roles in the control of mate recognition in many decapod crustaceans. However, we still know very little about the chemical characteristics of the cues that coordinate pre-copulative behaviour. In this study, we partially characterized a waterborne sex pheromone of a marine shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni. Female moulting water was collected and ultrafiltered using 1,000 and 500-Da membranes, respectively, and analysed using HPLC with a Lichrosphere™ RP18 (C18) column. The sex pheromone is likely to be a molecule between 500 and 1,000 Da in size because behavioural bioassays showed that males responded to the supernatant of 500-Da and to the 1,000-Da filtrate, but did not respond to the supernatant of 1,000-Da or to the 500-Da filtrate. There was only one dominant peak (2.86 min) detectable in HPLC chromatograms of the supernatant of the 500-Da filtration. This peak showed a UV absorbance maximum at 274 nm, similar to the recently identified shore crab sex pheromone Uridine-di-phosphate (UDP). Behavioural bioassays confirmed that this peak is a bioactive component of a potential pheromone bouquet, but is different from UDP, which showed no bioactivity in Lysmata wurdemanni. Our results lay the foundation for future studies to purify and eventually identify this sex pheromone.


Decapod Crustacean Receptive Female Shore Crab Behavioural Bioassay Contact Pheromone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This project was supported partially by the project 5010 of Wenzhou Medical College. We thank Andrew L. Rhyne for collecting the shrimp. We are grateful for the valuable comments made by the reviewers of the manuscript. The experiments comply with the current laws of the United States.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and Public HealthWenzhou Medical CollegeWenzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Vero Beach Marine LaboratoryFlorida Institute of TechnologyVero BeachUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biological SciencesHull UniversityHullUK

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