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Behavior of female adult Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) exposed to natural and synthesized odors

January 28, 2022

Conservation  and management of Pacific Lamprey Entosphenus tridentatus and other imperiled lamprey species could include the use of chemosensory cues to attract or repel migrating adults. For restoration programs, passage of adult lamprey at dams might be improved by using cues to help guide lamprey through fishway entrances. In contrast, odors might repel unwanted invasive Sea Lamprey Petromyzon marinus in the Laurentian Great Lakes from spawning habitats or improve trapping efficiency. We conducted bioassays with Pacific Lamprey in a two-choice maze to evaluate the behavioral response of pre-ovulatory adult females to introduced chemical cues and changes in flow. During overnight tests, for each female we measured the number of entries into each arm of the maze and the amount of time spent in each arm after application of natural odors from pre-spawning conspecifics (males and females) in one of the arms. Using the same methods, we also tested whether adult females were attracted to natural odor from spermiating males, to a synthesized (artificially produced) component of a Sea Lamprey sex pheromone (3-keto petromyzonol sulfate, 3kPZS), or to an attraction flow (12 L/min as reference). In all tests, the lamprey showed consistent nocturnal activity, typically moving from sunset until sunrise and remaining inactive during daylight hours. For natural odors, the number of entries and the amount of time females spent in the treatment arm were not significantly different between control and treatment periods. However, females spent significantly less time in the treatment arm with the synthesized 3kPZS than when no odor was delivered. Females showed strong, positive responses to the attraction flow and with our assay, we could identify significant behavioral responses when the differences between the control and experimental means were greater than 15-20%. The response of lampreys to sex pheromones may be species-specific, with Pacific Lamprey less likely to respond to conspecific odors than Sea Lamprey.

Publication Year 2022
Title Behavior of female adult Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) exposed to natural and synthesized odors
DOI 10.3996/JFWM-21-014
Authors Mike Hayes, Mary L. Moser, Brian J. Burke, Aaron D. Jackson, Nicholas S. Johnson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management
Index ID 70228739
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Fisheries Research Center