Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Influence of Social Environment on Sex Determination in Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera Picta: Decapoda, Gnathophyllidae)

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

Abstract Harlequin shrimp, Hymenocera picta, are monogamous and pair-bonding, and are usually found in isolated singles and pairs in the field. The apparent rarity of this species in their habitat and high levels of aggression between consexuals suggests the possibility of some sort of plasticity in their primary sex determination. In this study, the influence of social environment upon primary sex determination in H. picta was examined experimentally in the laboratory. Naïve juveniles were placed in three novel social environments: paired juveniles, single juveniles, and adult/juvenile pairs. Spacing behavior and the onset of external differentiation were observed during long-term experiments for each social treatment. Gonadal development was also observed. Spacing behavior of paired shrimp reflected the sexual composition of social groups; high intrapair distance (IPD) for same-sex pairs and low IPD for opposite-sex pairs. Sex determination results were not so clear. Two of the three paired juvenile replicates displayed phenotype frequencies different from those expected from a random sample of gonochoristic organisms with a 1:1 sex ratio. However, the third replicate and the combined frequencies did not show any statistical difference from the hypothetical random sample. Furthermore, single juveniles and those paired with adults expressed sex in nearly 1:1 ratios, regardless of the sex of adult conspecifics. Histological examination of juvenile shrimp confirmed that sex was determined as early as four weeks after larval metamorphosis. Therefore, social environment had no clear effect upon sexual phenotype expressed. However, single females attained puberty at a significantly greater age and larger size than did females paired with males. Hence for H. picta, social environment had a measurable effect on the timing of female puberty. This is the first demonstration of this phenomenon in decapod Crustacea.

Affiliations: 1: Sesoko Station, Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus, 3422 Sesoko, Motobu-cho, Okinawa 905-0227, Japan (


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Crustacean Biology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation