Abstract - Invertebrate Biology, 2000

Androdioecy is a rare form of mating in which species comprise males and hermaphrodites. One recently described case of androdioecy is the freshwater crustacean Eulimnadia texana. A mathematical model of the mating system of this shrimp suggests that males and hermaphrodites should only coexist under limited circumstances. One possible factor not considered in this model would extend the conditions for coexistence: the possibility of sperm storage in the hermaphrodites. Here we use genetically marked matings between males and hermaphrodites to determine if hermaphrodites can store male sperm. Eggs were collected from hermaphrodites both in the presence of a male and after the male was removed. A total of 30 of these matings had successful hatches, but only 14 of these 30 could be used to test for sperm storage. In these 14 cases, An average of 35% of the eggs were outcrossed when males were present, but only 0.4% were outcrossed after males were removed. Thus, sperm storage by hermaphrodites was an insignificant factor in the production of offspring. These data suggest that sperm storage cannot help explain the coexistence of males and hermaphrodites in natural populations of this crustacean.

Last Updated : 6/16/2000

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