Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 59–68

A novel sexual pattern in serranid fishes: simultaneous hermaphrodites and secondary males in Serranus fasciatus

  • Philip A. Hastings
  • Christopher W. Petersen

DOI: 10.1007/BF00005389

Cite this article as:
Hastings, P.A. & Petersen, C.W. Environ Biol Fish (1986) 15: 59. doi:10.1007/BF00005389


Gulf of California populations of Serranus fasciatus are composed of functional simultaneous hermaphrodites and males. This is the first serranid known to have this sexual pattern which is functionally intermediate between the typical serranid patterns of simultaneous and protogynous hermaphroditism. Males of S. fasciatus are derived from hermaphrodites by resorption of ovarian tissue and proliferation of the extant testicular band. Distinct sexual roles are evident in spawning events. Hermaphrodites gain female function by pair spawning with males (124 and 125 observed spawns) and rarely with other hermaphrodites (1 of 125). Hermaphrodites gain male function by sneak spawning (9 of 125) and rarely by pair spawning with other hermaphrodites. Males exclusively pair spawned with hermaphrodites. Despite its unusual sexual pattern, S. fasciatus appears allied with other Serranus species based on similarities in gonad morphology.


Gonad morphologyReproductive behaviorGulf of California

Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip A. Hastings
    • 1
  • Christopher W. Petersen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology & Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonU.S.A.
  2. 2.Marine Sciences ProgramUniversity of HoustonGalvestonU.S.A.