Marine Biology

, Volume 147, Issue 6, pp 1387–1392 | Cite as

Comparative mating success of smaller male-phase and larger male-role euhermaphrodite-phase shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni (Caridea: Hippolytidae)

  • Dong ZhangEmail author
  • Junda Lin
Research Article


The protandric simultaneous hermaphrodite shrimp Lysmata wurdemanni (Gibbes 1850) has a pure searching mating system, i.e., males are continually searching for receptive females and copulation is brief. To examine whether size-based advantage in male–male competition occurs and whether the mating ability of male-phase (M) shrimp equals that of euhermaphrodite-phase shrimp serving as males (Em), mating performance, including mating frequency and precopulatory behavior, of M and Em shrimp was compared using two M:Em ratios. Two experiments were carried out from March 2004 to August 2004 at Florida Institute of Technology’s Vero Beach Marine Laboratory using laboratory-cultured shrimp that originated from Port Aransas, TX, USA. In the two experiments, one parturial euhermaphrodite-phase shrimp acting as a female (Ef) was maintained with one M and two Em shrimp (one with and one without an egg mass), and two M and two Em shrimp, respectively. The M shrimp used were always smaller than the Em shrimp. Experiment 1 showed that there was no significant difference in mating ability between Em with and without egg mass. In both experiments, the M shrimp gained mating partners more frequently than the Em shrimp did. In the experiment with two M and two Em shrimp, mating frequencies of the small M and large M shrimp were similar. Precopulatory behaviors of the M shrimp were more active than those of the Em shrimp. Mating between the small M and larger Ef shrimp was sometimes successful even when the size difference was 20.0 mm total length (TL). Mating between a larger M shrimp and smaller Ef shrimp sometimes failed when the size difference was only 13.0 mm TL. Mating frequency of M shrimp over that of Em shrimp with Ef shrimp increased significantly with increasing density and operational sex ratio. The advantage of M over Em shrimp in obtaining mating partners is probably a result of sexual selection and adaptation, and may partially explain the observed delayed sex change in some L. wurdemanni, i.e., some male-phase shrimp grow very large and never become hermaphrodites.


Sexual Selection Mating Success Mating Frequency Receptive Female Male Competition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The study was partially supported by a contract from Shrimp Culture Technologies, Inc. Dr. Martin Thiel and anonymous reviewers provided valuable comments on a draft of this manuscript. The experiments comply with current laws of the United States.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vero Beach Marine LaboratoryFlorida Institute of TechnologyVero BeachUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesFlorida Institute of Technology USA

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