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Intersexuality in hermit crabs: reproductive role and fate of gonopores in intersex individuals

  • Alexander Turra (a1) (a2)

Abstract

The function of intersex individuals in three intertidal hermit crab species (Clibanarius antillensis, C. sclopetarius, and C. vittatus) was investigated and a description of the morphology of the gonopores of laboratory-reared intersex individuals before and after moulting provided. Observations on the reproductive behaviour revealed that intersex individuals of these hermit crab species copulated successfully as males with normal females. Intersex individuals showed morphological alterations indicating closure of the female gonopores after moulting. These findings associated to information on behaviour and population biology of hermit crabs may suggest that hermit crab intersexuality may be part of a true hermaphroditism mechanism.

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Intersexuality in hermit crabs: reproductive role and fate of gonopores in intersex individuals

  • Alexander Turra (a1) (a2)

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