Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 137–142 | Cite as

Protogynous hermaphroditism and gonochorism in four Caribbean reef gobies

  • D. R Ross Robertson
  • Gustavo Justines


The sexual structures of the populations of four Caribbean gobies were examined. Gobiosoma multifasciatum and Coryphopterus personatus are protogynous hermaphrodites, while G. illecebrosum and G. saucrum are gonochoristic. Sex changes were induced in females of the first two species in the laboratory, but not in females of the latter two species. The two hermaphroditic species live in large populations while the two gonochorists live in small groups. The significance of these findings to models of the evolution of protogyny are discussed.


Sex change Population size Evolutionary models 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References cited

  1. Atz, J.W. 1964. Intersexuality in fishes. pp. 145–232. In: C.N. Armstrong & A.J. Marshall (ed.) Intersexuality in Vertebrates Including Man, Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  2. Böhlke, J.E. & J.E. McCosker. 1973. Two additional West Atlantic gobies (Genus Gobiosoma) that remove ectoparasites from other fishes. Copeia 1973: 609–610.Google Scholar
  3. Böhlke, J.E. & C.R. Robins. 1968. Western Atlantic seven-spined gobies, with descriptions of ten new species and a new genus, and comments on Pacific relatives. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philad. 120: 45–174.Google Scholar
  4. Bruce, R.W. 1980. Protogynous hermaphroditism in two marine angelfishes. Copeia 1980: 353–355.Google Scholar
  5. Fishelson, L. 1970. Protogynous sex reversal in the fish Anthias squamipinnis (Teleostei, Anthiidae) regulated by the presence or absence of male fish. Nature 227: 90–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fricke, H.W. 1979. Mating system, resource defense and sex change in the anemonefish Amphiprion akallopisos. Z. Tierpsychol. 50: 313–326.Google Scholar
  7. Fricke, H.W. & S. Fricke. 1977. Monogamy and sex change by aggressive dominance in coral reef fish. Nature 266: 830–832.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Fricke, H.W. & S. Holzberg. 1974. Social units and hermaphroditism in a pomacentrid fish. Naturwiss. 61: 367–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ghiselin, M.T. 1969. The evolution of hermaphroditism among animals. Quart. Rev. Biol. 44: 189–208.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Lassig, B.R. 1977. Socioecological strategies adopted by obligate coral-dwelling fishes. Proc. 3rd Int. Symp. Coral Reefs 1: 565–570.Google Scholar
  11. Moyer, J.T. & A. Nakazono. 1978a. Population structure, reproductive behavior and protogynous hermaphroditism in the angelfish Centropyge interruptus at Miyake-Jima, Japan. Japan. J. Ichthyol. 25: 25–39.Google Scholar
  12. Moyer, J.T. & A. Nakazono. 1978b. Protandrous hermaphroditism in six species of the anemonefish genus Amphiprion in Japan. Japan J. Ichthyol. 25: 101–106.Google Scholar
  13. Reinboth, R. 1961. Morphologische und funktionelle Zweigeschlechtlichkeit bei marinen Teleostiern (Serranidae, Sparidae, Centracanthidae, Labridae). Zool. Jb. (Physiol.) 69: 405–480.Google Scholar
  14. Robertson, D.R. 1972. Social control of sex reversal in a coral reef fish. Science 177: 1007–1009.Google Scholar
  15. Robertson, D.R. & R.R. Warner. 1978. Sexual patterns in the labroid fishes of the western Caribbean. II: The parrotfishes (Scaridae). Smith. Contrib. Zool. 255: 1–26.Google Scholar
  16. Ross, R.M. 1978. Reproductive behavior of the anemonefish Amphiprion melanopus on Guam. Copeia 1978: 103–107.Google Scholar
  17. Smith, C.L. 1975. The evolution of hermaphroditism in fishes. pp. 295–310. In: R. Reinboth (ed.) Intersexuality in the Animal Kingdom, Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  18. Warner, R.R. 1975. The adaptive significance of sequential hermaphroditism in animals. Amer. Nat. 109: 61–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Warner, R.R. & D.R. Robertson. 1978. Sexual patterns in the labroid fishes of the western Caribbean. I: The Wrasses (Labridae). Smithson. Contrib. Zool. 254: 1–27.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. R Ross Robertson
    • 1
  • Gustavo Justines
    • 2
  1. 1.Smithsonian Tropical Research InstituteBalboaPanama
  2. 2.Departamento de Bíologia MarinaUniversidad de PánamaPanamaRepublica de Panama

Personalised recommendations