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Growth, survivorship, life-span, and sex change in the hermaphroditic shrimp Lysmata wurdemanni (Decapoda: Caridea: Hippolytidae)
Baldwin, A.P.; Bauer, R.T. (2003). Growth, survivorship, life-span, and sex change in the hermaphroditic shrimp Lysmata wurdemanni (Decapoda: Caridea: Hippolytidae). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 143(1): 157-166.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Baldwin, A.P.
  • Bauer, R.T.

    Lysmata wurdemanni (Gibbes) is a protandric simultaneous hermaphrodite. All individuals first mature as a male-phase individual (MP) and then later change to a female-phase individual (FP) that spawns and broods embryos but can also mate as a male. A Gulf of Mexico population was sampled monthly for 1 year and bimonthly the next. Estimates of basic population parameters were obtained from cohort analysis to reveal possible factors explaining the unusual sexual biology of L. wurdemanni as well as the broad variation in the size (age) of change from MP to FP. Growth rates of individuals from cohorts varied from 4–7 mm carapace length year-1. Growth of small MPs in the laboratory was somewhat faster but concordant with growth rates estimated from field samples. The period from recruitment to >50% sex change in cohorts varied from 3 months to 1 year. In the laboratory, the size and interval to sex change was similar to that of the most rapidly changing cohort observed. Survivorship of cohorts was high until later in life; life-span was estimated to be 12–18 months. Rates of sex change were highest from late winter through spring, in time for the spring–summer breeding season. The size and age of sex change in cohorts were related to the season of recruitment. MPs recruited from late winter to mid-spring rapidly changed to FPs at a relatively small size. A majority of MPs recruited in the summer and autumn did not change to FPs until the following late winter to spring, and they did so at a larger size. Rates of sex change were not correlated with the sexual composition of the population. We conclude that seasonal factors related to female breeding greatly influence sex change in L. wurdemanni. We found no evidence to support demographically influenced and socially mediated environmental sex determination, which has been suggested for L. wurdemanni and other sex-changing caridean shrimps.

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