Reproduction in a simultaneous hermaphroditic shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni: any two will do?
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The caridean shrimp Lysmata wurdemanni (Gibbes) displays protandric simultaneous hermaphroditism with out-crossing, but not all males become simultaneous hermaphrodites (euhermaphrodites). In this laboratory study, we attempted to determine why some shrimp remain males. In our experiment, we grew L. wurdemanni from post-larvae to adults in several group sizes and observed their reproductive function. We found that all shrimp reared in isolation become euhermaphrodites. When cultured in a group, the proportion of shrimp remaining male decreased with increasing group size. Except for those that mated within a day, inter-molt euhermaphrodite-phase shrimp (with or without embryos) and inter-molt male-phase shrimp fertilized eggs successfully. On the other hand, euhermaphrodite shrimp can only mate as females and have their eggs fertilized during a narrow post-molt window (less than 12 h.) in each molt cycle (10 days). The fertilization rate of male–euhermaphrodite pairs was similar to that of euhermaphrodite–euhermaphrodite pairs. There are at least two non-exclusive explanations for the persistence of male shrimp in a group. In certain group compositions, an individual may gain more reproductive fitness as a large male with multiple mate partners than as a small female with low clutch size. Alternatively, the presence of male-phase individuals, with variable molt-cycle duration (5–8 days), may be necessary to ensure mating. This study is the first direct experimental demonstration of social control of sex change in the decapod crustaceans.
KeywordsClutch Size Multiple Mate Decapod Crustacean Reproductive Fitness Mate Partner
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