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Protandric simultaneous hermaphroditism in Parhippolyte misticia (Clark, 1989) (Caridea: Hippolytidae): implications for the evolution of mixed sexual systems in shrimp

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The sexual system of the shrimp Parhippolyte misticia (Clark, 1989), inhabiting the rocky subtidal at Okinawa, Japan and Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, was examined. Dissections suggested that the population consisted of male phase (MP) and functional simultaneous euhermaphrodite (EH) individuals. MPs have cincinulli and appendices masculinae on the first and second pair of pleopods, respectively, gonopores located at the coxae of the third pair of walking legs, and ovotestes with a well-developed male portion containing sperm, but an undeveloped female portion. EHs lacked appendices masculinae and cincinulli. However, they have male gonopores and ovotestes with well-developed ovaries containing mature oöcytes and testes with sperm. When EHs were maintained in pairs, both shrimp molted and spawned eggs which attached below the pleon and developed as embryos, demonstrating that EHs can reproduce as males and inseminate other EHs acting as females. These results demonstrate that P. misticia is a protandric simultaneous hermaphrodite, as reported before for other shrimp of the genera Lysmata and Exhippolysmata. Also, these results suggest that protandric simultaneous hermaphroditism might have evolved more than once independently in shrimp from the diverse and species-rich Infraorder Caridea. Future research aimed at disentangling the phylogenetic relationship of Parhippolyte, Lysmata, Exhippolysmata and other closely related genera (Calliasmata, Lysmatella, Barbouria) and describing the sociobiology of additional representatives from the genera above is needed to understand the evolutionary history of sexual systems in caridean shrimp.

Affiliations: 1: 1University of Maryland University College, Asia Division, USAG-J Unit 45013, Box 2786, Zamashi, Kanagawa 228-0827, Japan; 2: 2Old Dominion University, Department of Biological Sciences, Norfolk, VA, USA; Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, 701 Seaway Drive, Fort Pierce, FL 34949, USA; and Departamento de Biología Marina, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar, Universidad Católica del Norte, Larrondo 1281, Coquimbo, Chile


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