Journal of Ethology

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 237–243

High frequency of mating without egg release in highly promiscuous nonparasitic lamprey Lethenteron kessleri

Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s10164-017-0505-0

Cite this article as:
Yamazaki, C. & Koizumi, I. J Ethol (2017) 35: 237. doi:10.1007/s10164-017-0505-0


Nonparasitic lampreys are highly promiscuous: a single female can mate over several dozen times with multiple males. It remains unknown why females mate so frequently despite presumed costs from an elongated spawning period. This paper documents that female Siberian brook lampreys mate without egg release (termed “sham mating”) at remarkably high frequencies. Females mated 20–196 times during a breeding experiment, of which sham mating comprised 35–90%. The number of eggs released may be physically constrained in each mating by the lamprey’s elongated body and behavior. Female lampreys might also control egg release depending on surrounding males.


Citizen data Female choice Group spawning Polygynandry Mate choice Spawning aggregation 

Supplementary material

10164_2017_505_MOESM1_ESM.mpg (40.7 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (MPG 41650 kb)

Supplementary material 2 (MPG 60874 kb)

Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society and Springer Japan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Environmental ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Environmental Earth ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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