Reproductive Biology

Mating takes place in water column. Sexually receptive female releases sexually attractant chemicals (pheromones), leaving trail up to 3.2 ft (1 m) long as she gradually sinks or slowly swims. Males detect chemicals in trail and begin pursuit. Once in close proximity, male detects hydromechanical disturbance caused by female swimming motions. Male grasps female using maxillipeds, then transfers single spermatophore with tip of fifth leg. Spermatophore discharges its sperm contents into copulatory pore, leading to seminal receptacle in female genital region. Using stored sperm, single female can produce numerous batches of eggs over period of 60-80 days. Eggs broadcast into water column, at rate of one about every 30 minutes, typically during afternoon or at night. Eggs hatch after about one day.


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