Marine Biology

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 169–178 | Cite as

Ist der polychaet Ophryotrocha labronica ein proterandrischer hermaphrodit?

  • H.-D. Pfannestiel


The larvae of an egg-mass of Ophryotrocha labronica differentiate into 60 to 70% males and 15 to 40% females. In the coelom of males, freely floating spermatozoa are visible at a length of 10.5 segments. Oocytes of 5 to 7 μm in diameter are released into the coelom of females at 10.7 segments. Males develop the k-jaw (k=complicated) much earlier (at 12.2 segments) than females (at 16.5 segments). As described for O. notoglandulata, O. labronica bears star-shaped glands on the dorsal side of the youngest segments. Males always have more glands (4.4) than females (2.7). These glands and the different appearance of the k-jaw may be considered as sexual characters. At 13.5 segments, 60 to 70% of the males start to proliferate oocytes, thus displaying protandry. The remaining males do not undergo sex reversal and are thus categorised as “stable” males. The developing oocytes in the so-called secondary females are not shed but ultimately resorbed. Resorption also occurs in isolated females, which display female differentiation from the beginning. The number of glands in secondary females decreases during sex reversal to values as low as those observed in stable females. Rearing experiments revealed the secondary females to be completely infertile. Inhibition of oocyte release in secondary females is permanent, and such release cannot be induced, even by the presence of males. Self-fertilization was not observed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • H.-D. Pfannestiel
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoologisches Institut der Technischen Universität BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany (FRG)

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