Current Zoology(formerly Acta Zoologica Sinica),   Aug. 2013, 59(4): 579 - 588
Title: Sexual selection and hermaphroditic organisms: Testing theory
Authors: Janet L. LEONARD
 J o s e p h   M .   L o n g   M a r i n e   L a b o r a t o r y ,   U n i v e r s i t y   o f   C a l i f o r n i a - S a n t a   C r u z ,   U S A 

Sexual selection is widespread if not ubiquitous in hermaphroditic organisms. Although many phenomena that have been described as sexual selection in gonochores, (e.g. harem polygamy, multiple mating, elaborate courtship, even secondary sexual characters) can be found in some hermaphrodites, what is more interesting is the ways in which sexual selection in hermaphrodites may differ from dioecious taxa. In hermaphrodites, an individual’s mating success includes its success from both sexual roles. Secondly, in many simultaneously hermaphroditic taxa there is strong evidence of sexual selection and yet the ope­rational sex ratio is 1:1, by definition. Many simultaneous hermaphrodites have elaborate courtship and genital anatomy, suggesting sexual selection plays an important role in reproductive success. Sperm competition and cryptic female choice mean that the number of mates acquired is not necessarily a predictor of reproductive success. Even in simultaneous hermaphrodites with reciprocal mating, variance in reproductive success through the male role and through the female role may differ in a population. Moreover hermaphrodites may choose to emphasize one sexual role over the other. Data suggest that the preferred role varies in hermaphrodites, which creates an opportunity to test fundamental predictions and assumptions of sexual selection theory. Hermaphrodites may vary their emphasis on one sexual role over the other either developmentally or behaviorally in response to environmental or social parameters. How they use this capability in acquiring more or higher quality mates still requires study [Current Zoology 59 (4): 579–588, 2013].

Keywords: Sexual selection, Hermaphrodites, Mate choice, Reproductive success

*Correspondence should be addressed to Janet L. LEONARD (E-mail:Jlleonar@ucsc.ed).

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