Molt and mate: female shrimps and prawns are ready to mate after they molt (shed their shell) – Bursicon may explains the physiological link.

A new study by Assoc. Prof. Apinunt Udomkit found that Bursicon promotes development of eggs in shrimp. Bursicon is an insect hormone known to be involved in darkening of cuticle, wing expansion, and molting.

The new finding may explain a physiological link between molting and reproduction in female shrimps. Shrimps molt regularly as they grow, and females molt and have soft body when they are ready to mate. Bursicon plays its role in stimulating the early stage of oocyte growth and yolk accumulation after the females molt. This study indicates that bursicon is a candidate for the longtime unknown gonad-stimulating factor in the shrimp, and therefore has potential application for the improvement of shrimp production in the future.