Sexually mature cuttlefish are attracted to the eggs of conspecifics

Jean G. Boal, Krista N. Prosser, Johanna B. Holm, Tiffany L. Simmons, Robert E. Haas, Gregg T. Nagle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Cuttlefish typically are solitary, but form aggregations to spawn. We tested the hypothesis that bioactive factors in the eggs of conspecifics may facilitate the formation of spawning groups of Sepia officinalis. Cuttlefish detected odors from cuttlefish eggs, resulting in an increased ventilation rate. Extracts from female ovaries induced the largest increase in ventilation rate, suggesting that this organ could be a potential source of the bioactive chemicals. In y-maze assays, sexually mature, but not subadult, cuttlefish, were attracted to odors of cuttlefish eggs. These data suggest that Sepia eggs could be a source of reproductive pheromones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)834-836
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemoattraction
  • Invertebrate
  • Mollusk
  • Reproductive behavior
  • Spatial orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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