Dec 11, 2015

Structural specialities, curiosities and record-breaking features of crustacean reproduction

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Günter Vogt


Crustaceans are a morphologically, physiologically and ecologically highly diverse animal group and correspondingly diverse are their reproductive characteristics. They have evolved structural specialities with respect to penis construction, sperm form, sperm storage, mode of fertilization and brood care. Unique in the animal kingdom are safety lines that safeguard hatching and first moulting of the offspring. Further curiosities are dwarf males in parasitic and sessile species and the induction of feminization, castration and gigantism by parasites and bacteria. Record-breaking features are relative penis length, clutch size, sperm size, chromosome number, viability of resting eggs and fossil ages of penis, sperm and brooded embryos. This article reviews and illustrates these structural reproductive peculiarities and curiosities and discusses implications for basic and applied biological topics including sperm competition, posthumous paternity, fitness enhancement of the young, reconstruction of pristine ecosystems prior to man-made pollution, population change by infectious feminization and sustainable male-based fishery.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Rana fisheri
Class crustacea
Reconstructive Surgical Procedures

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