Crayfish Pee A Natural Aphrodisiac...For Crayfish.

Crayfish Pee A Natural Aphrodisiac...For Crayfish.

Michael Lowe
Published: 03/31/2010


(Flickr Creative Commons/Pamramsey)

Viagra may have a new competitor in the crayfish world. A recent study has shown when female crayfish were hindered from releasing urine, male crayfish did not demonstrate any courtship behavior. When female urine was introduced artificially back into the environment, however, male mating attempts were back on track and male virility directly coincided with the release of urine by females. The researchers told National Geographic, “Walking through urine drives crayfish into an aggressive sexual frenzy.”

Urine release, by both males and females, also coincided with aggressive behavior and fights which could lead to miscommunication problems. Is the female feeling frisky or just plain pissed off?

The females “send a mixed message by releasing an aphrodisiac while also acting very aggressively towards the males,” said the researchers, but although confusing, the signals may be a way for females to determine the strongest, fittest males to fertilize their eggs. Causing aggressive interactions via urine is an easy way to weed out the men from the boys.

It’s an effective strategy for natural selection, but a tactic I wouldn’t suggest the next time you find yourself in the midst of two prospective suitors at a club.