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CEMENT GLAND DEVELOPMENT, OVARY MATURATION, AND REPRODUCTIVE CYCLES IN THE AMERICAN LOBSTER HOMARUS AMERICANUS

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ABSTRACT Four developmental stages are defined for the cement glands of mature female American lobsters. These "cement glands" are tegumental glands that cycle in phase with ovary development and secrete a substance that appears to be involved in the egg fertilization-attachment process. Since cement glands do not develop in male or immature female lobsters, they can be used to determine maturity in females that are not ovigerous. In wild populations, size at maturity is frequently based on sizes of ovigerous females, but this assessment is complicated by the existence of two different reproductive patterns in the Adult-I year, the fact that only half of the mature females are ovigerous in any year, and the fact that ovigerous females often are not adequately sampled by traditional trapping procedures. Cement gland development can be used to improve the accuracy of maturity assessments by providing information on maturity of barren females.

Affiliations: 1: Fisheries and Environmental Sciences, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Biological Station, St. Andrews, New Brunswick EOG 2X0, Canada.

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/content/journals/10.1163/1937240x82x00464
1982-01-01
2016-12-06

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