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No effect of group size on sex allocation in a protandric-simultaneous hermaphroditic shrimp
Baeza, J.A. (2007). No effect of group size on sex allocation in a protandric-simultaneous hermaphroditic shrimp. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 87(5): 1169-1174.
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
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  • Baeza, J.A.

    Lysmata wurdemanni is a protandric-simultaneous hermaphroditic shrimp. Individuals reproduce as males first and late in life as simultaneous hermaphrodites. I examined whether sex allocation (resources devoted to ova vs sperm) varies with group size in shrimps that have just matured as hermaphrodites. Focal males were reared with different numbers of hermaphrodites (1, 2, 5 or 10). Sperm stored in the ejaculatory ducts and eggs brooded underneath the abdomen were retrieved and weighted immediately after focal shrimps matured as hermaphrodites. Hermaphrodites should invest more into sperm with increasing group size to cope with more intense sperm competition. The proportion of focal shrimps that lost their first clutch of eggs after maturing as hermaphrodites increased with group size. This suggests male gender preferences by hermaphrodites experiencing large group sizes. No differences in sex allocation among group sizes were recorded for shrimps that did not lose their first clutch of eggs. Thus, group size does not affect sex allocation in terms of ova and sperm mass. This lack of phenotypic plasticity might be explained if sperm competition is not important in L. wurdemanni. It should not pay in terms of fitness for shrimps to produce and inseminate female-role hermaphrodites with large amounts of sperm when full paternity is assured in the absence of multi-male mating. In agreement with this idea, a second experiment demonstrated that female-role hermaphrodites invariably mated only once with a single other shrimp.

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