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Egg Signals in American Lobster

Full Title

'Egg Signals': Embryonic chemical signals and their potential effect on maternal thermal preference and hatch in American lobster Homarus americanus


Explore how potential chemo-active compounds produced and released from egg clutches may influence the thermal preferences of both early- and late-stage ovigerous American lobsters.

Project Period



  • Jason Goldstein
  • Benjamin Gutzler
  • Steven Jury


  1. Explore the effects of egg removal on control-stage matched ovigerous females in a behavioral assay chamber to determine changes in activity and temperature preference in early-stage versus late-stage ovigerous females.
  2. Determine and characterize the possible presence of amino acids and peptides in water from egg masses versus control (non-ovigerous female) water, and from water with crushed eggs from early-stage and late-stage ovigerous females.


This project contributes to an improved understanding of reproductive chemical signaling between developing eggs and maternal behavior, and how this may affect larval-release habitats for American lobster. These results will allow us to better pinpoint how maternal behavior may modulate hatching locations and to what degree that is relevant for subsequent bio-physical modeling efforts for lobster stocks in the Gulf of Maine.

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  • Wells Reserve
  • St. Joseph's College of Maine


$4,400 from Maine Sea Grant

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