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A case of intersexuality in the Parthenogenetic marmorkrebs (Decapoda: Astacida: Cambaridae)

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We describe an intersex specimen of the Marmorkrebs, the only obligate parthenogenetic freshwater crayfish with an all-female population. The individual was a fully functional female which possessed male-like first pleopods. Nevertheless, it reproduced successfully and the offspring were normally developed parthenogenetic females, lacking any trace of male traits. The general rarity of aberrant sexual traits in freshwater crayfishes, in particular in Procambarus, is discussed. We suggest that a dysfunction of the sex determining system, which controls the anlagen of the androgenic glands during development, caused the partial male-like phenotype of this Marmorkrebs specimen. The application of this organism for investigations of sex determination and differentiation is recommended.

Affiliations: 1: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Biologie/Vergleichende Zoologie, Philippstraße 13, D-10115 Berlin, Germany


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