Interesting observation in mating behavior
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:54 PM   #1
ravensgate
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Interesting observation in mating behavior


So this is the third time I've witnessed this in my tank in the last 3 weeks. This tank houses CRS, CBS, Goldens and some others. PRIOR to molting males will begin to dance. And I'm talking a good hour or more before the female molts. But their behavior has been interesting. I can always tell the female that is about to molt because of how the males behave. They will approach her, politely, and tip their heads down, raise their tails up, and fan their little back legs madly. Any male that approaches during this 'courtship' is quickly chased away. Some will even walk up behind the female and put their little heads under her tail and slightly lift her tail. Then approximately 1-2 hours after this behavior is observed, I have witnessed the female in question molt. At this point the frantic behavior of swarming the tank occurs with the males and it's every man for himself. They are no longer polite to each other, the female, or any shrimp who gets in their way. There is no more 'courtship' just a frenzy.

When I started in this hobby I was always under the impression that dancing occurred only AFTER the female had molted. This is not what has been occurring in my tank with behavior noted prior to molting of the female. And they know which female is about to molt because she is the only one who gets the theatrics presented to her. I am curious if anyone else has observed this behavior and if it is across the board for all shrimp species, only some shrimp species, or if I just have an entertaining tank
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:14 PM   #2
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Jamie - I am new to the shrimp hobby, but I have CRS as well in a 20gal, and I have noticed the exact same thing. At first, I thought it was after the molt, but have realized that it is before the molt that the males run around lifting the female's tail up by his head. Funny to have found this thread because I came on this morning to see if I could find out if it were just the males dancing around or if the females joined into the dance as well.... I have pinpointed which female is, as you suggest, apparently getting ready to molt because several of the others (presumably males) are doing this exact thing to her to the point that she is trying to hide from them. In fact, some of the males will run around lifting females until they figure out exactly which one is the one, and then they chase her relentlessly. Great observation and fun to learn about.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:18 PM   #3
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Default Interesting observation in mating behavior

Well this is all pretty interesting. I'll be watching again. Man, Jamie, you make lots of discoveries lol.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:58 PM   #4
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jamie you so should write a paper on this and publish it. im sure you have noticed alot of things with your shrimp that most dont notice. i for one have not payed that much attention. the things you find are very interesting to say the least
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:04 PM   #5
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The females release a pheromone into the water that signals breeding. If I recall, the glands are actually located in the eyes of the shrimp. Commercial shrimpery's actually cut one of the eyes of female shrimp off to get them to saddle and berry faster.
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:16 PM   #6
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Default Interesting observation in mating behavior

That's right!! I've actually read up on that terrible practice somewhere.
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:54 PM   #7
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But is the pheromone release before molting or after? Because this particular behavior is always noted prior to molting. After the molt it's on like Donkey Kong. LOL! No polite dance...no 'asking permission', no nothing like that.

I guess I observe these strange little things for a few reasons...one is that particular tank is a foot from where I work on my desk and have my computer. So I can observe it really easily. And the other thing is I don't have a lot of adult shrimp in the tanks I have in my bedroom so their behavior is a little easier to observe. Annndd lastly I don't have an abundance of plants and hiding places so it's more open type tanks where I can keep an eye on things. Now in my kiddo's room is the cray and PFR/Supreme tank. It's a 10 gallon, plants and caves are everywhere and I can't keep track of anything in that tank. All I know is almost all the females stay berried and I'll have neos coming out of my ears in a few months. LOL. But even if that particular tank was right next to me it would be a crappy observation tank just due to the layout and amount of shrimp in there.

I really think I stare at these shrimps too much...I never get anything done these days. LOL!
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