Reproductive Biology

Mating takes place in water column. Sexually receptive female releases pheromones, leaving trail. Within 0.039-0.078 in (1-2 mm) of trail, male can detect chemicals in trail up to 10 seconds after female passed, and begins pursuit. Once in close proximity, male detects hydromechanical disturbance caused by female swimming motions, and grasps female using fifth legs. Single spermatophore transferred during copulation, using 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, which are broadcast into water column at rate of 16-32 per day. Two types of eggs produced, subita-neous eggs, which hatch after about one day, and resting eggs, which sink to sediment. Resting eggs typically provide overwintering stage, hatching in spring.


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