Abstract – Invertebrate Biology, 2004, 123:146-155

            The expected proportion of males in androdioecious populations (those comprised of males and hermaphrodites) largely depends on the fertilization opportunities of males. If male mating opportunities are low due to restricted access to hermaphroditic eggs, then populations will be hermaphrodite-biased. Hermaphrodites have two mechanisms available to limit male mating success: (1) pre-mating barriers to outcrossing, in which hermaphrodites choose not to pair with males and (2) post-mating barriers to outcrossing, in which hermaphrodite sperm has greater access to eggs than male sperm.  In this study, we measured male mating success in the androdioecious clam shrimp Eulimnadia texana when pre-mating barriers to outcrossing were removed.  These branchiopod crustaceans are small (5-8 mm), filter feeders that live in ephemeral pools in the deserts of the southwestern United States. Using genetic markers, we measured male mating success in laboratory experiments in two populations of these shrimp.  We correlated mating success with clasping time, clasping during egg transfer, and male thrusting during egg transfer.  Males fertilized an average of 24-40% of the hermaphrodites’ eggs.  Outcrossing success was positively correlated with clasping duration, and was nearly an order of magnitude higher for males thrusting during egg transfer relative to thrusting at other times during pairing.  Because these estimates of mating success were similar to previously reported estimates (in which both pre- and post-mating barriers to outcrossing were potentially important), we deduced that pre-mating barriers to outcrossing do not greatly decrease male outcrossing success in E. texana; the low fertilization (25 – 50% of available eggs) by males is thus due to post-mating barrier(s) to outcrossing.

Last Updated : 10/18/04

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