Abstract - Ethology, 2000

Androdioecy is a mixed-mating system in which there are males and hermaphrodites but no pure females.  Few species exhibit such a mating system. Eulimnadia texana is a branchiopod crustacean that has recently been identified as an androdioecious species.  This system is ideal for testing questions related to the evolution of sexual reproduction. We are testing a model that predicts androdioecy to be a stable mixed-mating system under certain conditions.  Specifically, we investigated whether encounters between males and hermaphrodites are random or if either sex seeks out the other for mating.  Focal male or hermaphrodite clam shrimp were presented with stimulus shrimp of the other sex or kept alone.  Swimming speed and time spent within different areas of a test chamber were recorded.  Males did not alter mean swimming speed or spend more time than expected by chance near partitioned hermaphrodites.  Hermaphrodites, however, decreased mean swimming speed in the presence of males and also spent more time than expected by chance near partitioned males, suggesting that hermaphrodites respond to male chemical and/or visual stimuli.  Modified swimming behaviour probably facilitates intersexual contact, thereby increasing opportunities for outcrossing above that expected by random encounters.

Last Updated : 3/23/00

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