Androdioecy and Hermaphroditism in Five Species of Clam Shrimp (Crustacea: Branchiopoda: Spinicaudata) from India and Thailand

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Publication Date

Spring 2013


Crustaceans in the order Spinicaudata display a broad range of reproductive strategies, ranging from pure hermaphroditism to pure dioecy (separate males and females), and intermediate combinations. One particularly interesting genus of these “clam shrimps” is Eulimnadia. Based on offspring sex ratios, it has been suggested that all members of the genus are androdioecious: populations consist of mixtures of males and hermaphrodites. However, only two of the ~40 species in this genus have been examined histologically to confirm the presence of ovotestes in the purported hermaphrodites of this group. Here, we report both sex ratio and histological evidence showing that populations of five additional Eulimnadia species from India and Thailand are indeed mixes of males and hermaphrodites (four species) or hermaphrodite only (one species). Sex ratios of adults and offspring from isolated hermaphrodites are in accordance with those previously reported for 15 Eulimnadia species, and histological assays of four of the five species show the presence of both testicular and ovarian tissue in these hermaphrodites. As has been previously reported, the testicular tissue in members of these Eulimnadia spp. is located in a small section at the distal end of the gonad. In addition, the sperm produced in these hermaphrodites forms distinct plaques of compacted chromatin. Overall, these data are consistent with a single origin of hermaphroditism in Eulimnadia, and support the notion that all members of the genus are either androdioecious or all-hermaphroditic.

Publication Title

Invertebrate Biology





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