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Page 14 - The Life of the Lobster

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1974/3/1 (1929 reads)

eggs the female rolls over on her back and supports the raised part of her body with her widespread claws. The eggs are laid through two small openings at the bases of the second pair of walking legs and flow down 6 to 8 abreast into the pocket formed by the curled tail. As they pass over the sperm sac they are fertilized by sperm de? posited there during mating and then become fastened to the swimmerets by a glue? like substance. (Herreck: "...a liquid cement substance, which is secreted by spe? cial glands situated in the swimmerets....The 'tail' is folded so as to form a closed pouch or chamber...and the eggs received within it are mixed with liquid ce? ment and sea water. Fixation to the hairs of the swimmerets is finally effected,") Wilder: The female usually takes several hours to lay eggs every other year. The newly laid eggs are round, about l/l6th of an inch in diameter and are dark green, almost black, in colour." The female is now said to be berried. The number of eggs laid by a given female seems to be in definite relation to her length. Herrick: "A lobster 8 inches long produces about 5,000 eggs...10 inches long would produce 10, 000, a 12-inch lobster 20,000, a 14-inch lobster 40,000....A 17-inch lobster pro? duces about 63,000 eggs." The eggs are protected under the folded tail. Wilder: "At times she extends her tail and moves her swimmerets back and forth, in this way aer' ating and cleaning the eggs. Such patient, parental care continues for almost a full year before the eggs hatch....Shortly before hatching the black eyes of the tiny lobsters can be seen through the egg membranes. When the eggs are ready to hatch the female stands on the tips of her walking legs with her large claws stretched out in front and the tail raised at an angle. The swimmerets with the attached eggs are then waved violently for about half a minute. This creates a current vrtiich carries hundreds of newly hatched lobsters up towards the surface. This is repeated several times at short intervals but it usually takes the female about two weeks to hatch her complete batch of eggs." Herrick: "The young lobster has no organs for attaching itself to the mother. Its large claws do not end in sharp hooks, as in the crayfish, and when once set free, it never again finds shelter under the body of the parent." This article is essentially a reduction from Francis Hobart Herrick's The American Lobster, a study of its habits and development, 1895, with additions from "Canada*s Lobster Fishery*' by D.G.Wilder, published by the Canadian Geographical Journal and reprinted by the Dept. of Fisheries of Canada. Our thanks to Mrs. Margot Ellen Schenk, Librarian, Environment Canada, HsOiifax, for her help gathering materials. Edited & Published by Ronald Capian MARCH 1974 e Breton's MAGAZINE WRECK COVE CAPE BRETON NOVA SCOTIA SUBSCRIFTIONk 6-issues for 4.50 • 12-issues for 8.50 • Anywhere. Back issues available The Great Seal of the Isle of Cape Breton A gold-plated reproduction of the seal authorized in 1785, when C.B. became a province. Strictly limited supply. This 1 1/2 inch diameter coin available for $4.00 postpaid from John Ste4)hens, Box 159, Baddeck Cape Breton's Maga2ine/l4 Now 207 Years Old ROBIN, JONES 8e WHITMAN, LIMITED Cheticamp, M.S. 224-2022 Invernesst N. S. 258-2362
Cape Breton's Magazine
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