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Dwarf males in the barnacle Alepas pacifica Pilsbry, 1907 (Thoracica, Lepadidae), a symbiont of jellyfish

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In the pedunculate barnacle Alepas pacifica Pilsbry, 1907, a symbiont of jellyfish, several small individuals were found attached to conspecifics rather than directly to the host. We investigated whether these individuals act as dwarf males, as is known in some other species of barnacles. The conspecific-attached individuals had longer penes than juvenile hermaphrodites of similar sizes attached directly to the jellyfish, although there was no other morphological difference between these two types of individuals. Only the largest conspecific-attached individual was ovigerous. We conclude that the conspecific-attached individuals are dwarf males, which develop the male function at a smaller size than hermaphrodites do, with a small possibility of becoming hermaphroditic. This is the first report of dwarf males, and hence of the coexistence of males and hermaphrodites (androdioecy), in the family Lepadidae. In addition, the record of A. pacifica attached to Nemopilema nomurai Kishinouye, 1922, is reported herein as new to science.

Affiliations: 1: 1Nara Women’s University, Kitauoya-nishi, Nara 630-8506, Japan; 2: 2Seto Marine Biological Laboratory, Kyoto University, Shirahama, Wakayama 649-2211, Japan


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