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    Rights: © Copyright 2013. University of Waikato. All rights reserved.
    Published 20 June 2013 Referencing Hub media

    Pheromones are chemical ‘smells’ that are released by individuals of a species and detected by other members of the same species. Oliver Trottier has proposed that female New Zealand pea crabs release a pheromone when they are ready to mate and that male pea crabs follow the ‘scent’ of the pheromone to locate the receptive female within her host mussel. In this video, Oliver discusses what pheromones are and describes his ideas about how pea crabs use them.

    Teaching point:
    After watching this video, students could read the article, Getting into and out of mussels.


    Oliver Trottier (Leigh Marine Laboratory)
    A pheromone is just a fancy word to say a smell really, sort of a chemical smell that you can pick up on. The situation is that I think the female crab is releasing this pheromone, this scent when she’s ready, when she’s ready to mate, and this sort of prevents the male crab from coming out of his host and potentially getting killed for nothing. She sort of lets him know it’s time, I’m ready, I’m going to release this pheromone, and then he can say OK, well I smell, I can smell this, it’s time for me to go.

    Oliver Trottier – Leigh Marine Laboratory, Auckland University.