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Maintenance of dominance is mediated by urinary chemical signals in male European lobsters, Homarus gammarus

  • Malin Skog
  • A. Chandrapavan
  • Eric Hallberg
  • T. Breithaupt
Publishing year: 2009
Language: English
Pages: 119-133
Publication/Series: Marine and Freshwater Behaviour & Physiology
Volume: 42
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Abstract english

We studied the relevance of urine cues in Homarus gammarus dominance maintenance, hypothesising that urinary signals are necessary to mediate recognition of former opponents. Males in size-matched pairs interacted on two consecutive days with or without blocking urine release by adding catheters to both contestants on the second day. European lobsters established dominance in a first fight, and fight duration and aggression levels decreased strongly from first to second day in animals with free urine release, indicating the maintenance of this dominance relationship. If urine was blocked on the second day, fight durations were long in both first and second day interactions. Results demonstrate that urine signals contribute to the maintenance of dominance in H. gammarus males.


  • Zoology
  • European lobster
  • Homarus gammarus
  • urine signals
  • chemical communication
  • agonistic interactions
  • dominance hierarchy


  • ISSN: 1023-6244
Eric Hallberg
E-mail: eric [dot] hallberg [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emeritus

Functional zoology

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