A sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) sex pheromone mixture increases trap catch relative to a single synthesized component in specific environments

Journal of Chemical Ecology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Spermiating male sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) release a sex pheromone, of which a component, 7α, 12α, 24-trihydoxy-3-one-5α-cholan-24-sulfate (3kPZS), has been identified and shown to induce long distance preference responses in ovulated females. However, other pheromone components exist, and when 3kPZS alone was used to control invasive sea lamprey populations in the Laurentian Great Lakes, trap catch increase was significant, but gains were generally marginal. We hypothesized that free-ranging sea lamprey populations discriminate between a partial and complete pheromone while migrating to spawning grounds and searching for mates at spawning grounds. As a means to test our hypothesis, and to test two possible uses of sex pheromones for sea lamprey control, we asked whether the full sex pheromone mixture released by males (spermiating male washings; SMW) is more effective than 3kPZS in capturing animals in traditional traps (1) en route to spawning grounds and (2) at spawning grounds. At locations where traps target sea lampreys en route to spawning grounds, SMW-baited traps captured significantly more sea lampreys than paired 3kPZS-baited traps (~10 % increase). At spawning grounds, no difference in trap catch was observed between 3kPZS and SMW-baited traps. The lack of an observed difference at spawning grounds may be attributed to increased pheromone competition and possible involvement of other sensory modalities to locate mates. Because fishes often rely on multiple and sometimes redundant sensory modalities for critical life history events, the addition of sex pheromones to traditionally used traps is not likely to work in all circumstances. In the case of the sea lamprey, sex pheromone application may increase catch when applied to specifically designed traps deployed in streams with low adult density and limited spawning habitat.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) sex pheromone mixture increases trap catch relative to a single synthesized component in specific environments
Series title Journal of Chemical Ecology
DOI 10.1007/s10886-015-0561-2
Volume 41
Issue 3
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 11 p.
First page 311
Last page 321
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N