Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 123, Issue 2, pp 143–148 | Cite as

Antennal gland function in the freshwater blue crab,Callinectes sapidus: Water, electrolyte, acid-base and ammonia excretion

  • James N. Cameron
  • Carol V. Batterton


  1. 1.

    A cannulation method was developed to measure directly the urine output ofCallinectes sapidus in freshwater. The mean flow was 0.82±0.14 ml·100 g−1·h−1, or 19.7±3.3% body weight per day (S.E.).

  2. 2.

    Inulin clearance studies yielded urine formation rates not significantly different from direct measurements. The urine/blood inulin ratio was 1.13±0.03, indicating about 12% reabsorption of the primary urine.

  3. 3.

    Concentrations of major electrolytes (Na+, Cl, K+) were only slightly different in blood and urine. Urinary losses accounted for 41% of the total Na+ efflux and 31% of the total Cl efflux.

  4. 4.

    Ammonia concentration in urine was significantly higher than blood, but only 1–2% of the total ammonia excretion is urinary.

  5. 5.

    The net acid or base excretion in urine was negligible, both at rest and during hypercapnic acidosis.

  6. 6.

    The freshwater blue crab antennal gland appears to be a volume-regulating organ, imposing an additional salt loss, and having no appreciable role in either nitrogen excretion or or acid-base regulation.



Inulin Ammonia Excretion Total Ammonia Urinary Loss Nitrogen Excretion 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Binns, R.: The physiology of the antennal gland ofCarcinus maenas (L.). I. The mechanism of urine production. J. exp. Biol.51, 1–10 (1969a)Google Scholar
  2. Binns, R.: The physiology of the antennal gland ofCarcinus maenas (L.). II. Urine production rates J. exp. Biol.51, 11–16 (1969b)Google Scholar
  3. Binns, R.: The physiology of the antennal gland ofCarcinus maenas (L.). V. Some nitrogenous constituents in the blood and urine. J. exp. Biol.51, 41–45 (1969c)Google Scholar
  4. Binns R., Peterson, A.J.: Nitrogen excretion by the spiny lobsterJasus edwardsi (Hutton): the role of the antennal gland. Biol. Bull.136, 147–153 (1969)Google Scholar
  5. Bryan, G.W.: Sodium regulation in the crayfishAstacus fluviatilis. I. The normal animal. J. exp. Biol.37, 83–99 (1960)Google Scholar
  6. Cameron, J.N.: NaCl balance in blue crabs,Callinectes sapidus, in fresh water. J. comp. Physiol.123, 127–135 (1978a)Google Scholar
  7. Cameron, J.N.: Effects of hypercapnia on blood acid-base status, NaCl fluxes, and trans-gill potential in freshwater blue crabs,Callinectes sapidus. J. comp. Physiol.123, 137–141 (1978b)Google Scholar
  8. Cameron, J.N., Wood, C.M.: Renal function and acid-base regulation in two Amazonian Erythrinid fishes:Hoplias malabaricus, a water-breather, andHoplerythrinus unitaeniatus, a facultative air-breather. Canad. J. Zool., in press (1977)Google Scholar
  9. Gleeson, R.A., Zubkoff, P.L.: The determination of hemolymph volume in the blue crab,Callinectes sapidus, utilzing14C-thiocyanate. Comp. Biochem. Physiol.56A, 411–413 (1977)Google Scholar
  10. Gray, I.E.: A comparative study of the gill areas of crabs. Biol. Bull.112, 34–42 (1957)Google Scholar
  11. Harris, R.R.: Urine production rate and urinary sodium loss in the freshwater crabPotamon edulis. J. comp. Physiol.98, 143–153 (1975)Google Scholar
  12. Krogh, A.: The active absorption of ions in some freshwater animals. Z. vergl. Physiol.25, 335–350 (1938)Google Scholar
  13. Maetz, J.: Na+/NH4+ Na+/H+ exchanges and NH3 movement across the gill ofCarassius auratus. J. exp. Biol.58, 255–275 (1973)Google Scholar
  14. Maffly, R.H.: A conductometric method for measuring micromolar quantities of carbon dioxide. Anal. Biochem.23, 252–262 (1968)Google Scholar
  15. Mangum, C.P., Silverthorn S.U., Harris, J.L., Towle, D.W., Krall, A.R.: The relationship between blood pH, ammonia excretion and adaptation to low salinity in the blue crabCallinectes sapidus. J. exp. Zool.195, 129–136 (1976)Google Scholar
  16. Riegel, J.A., Lockwood, A.P.M., Norfolk, J.R.W., Bulleid, N.C., Taylor, P.A.: Urinary bladder volume and the reabsorption of water from the urine of crabs. J. exp. Biol.60, 167–181 (1974)Google Scholar
  17. Shaw, J.: Salt and water balance in the East African fresh-water crabPotamon niloticus (M. Edw.). J. exp. Biol.36, 157–176 (1959)Google Scholar
  18. Shaw, J.: Studies on ionic regulation inCarcinus maenas (L.) I. Sodium balance. J. exp. Biol.38, 135–152 (1961)Google Scholar
  19. Solorzano, L.: Determination of ammonia in natural waters by the phenolhypochlorite method. Limnol. Oceanogr.14, 799–801 (1969)Google Scholar
  20. Washburn, E.W. (Ed.): International critical tables of numerical data, physics, chemistry and technology. Vol. III. 1st ed. New York: McGraw-Hill 1928Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • James N. Cameron
    • 1
  • Carol V. Batterton
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Zoology and Marine StudiesThe University of Texas at Austin, Port Aransas Marine LaboratoryPort AransasUSA

Personalised recommendations