Document Detail

Brainless but not clueless: earthworms boost their ejaculates when they detect fecund non-virgin partners.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18252668     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In many animals in which females store sperm, males may detect female mating status and, in order to outcompete rival sperm, increase ejaculate size when copulating with non-virgin females. Although most studies have been restricted to organisms with separate sexes, theoretical models suggest that sperm competition should also be an important selective agent shaping life-history traits in simultaneous hermaphrodites. Nevertheless, the empirical support for ejaculate adjustment in a mating opportunity is scarce in hermaphrodites. In the present study, we performed a double-mating experiment to determine whether earthworms (Eisenia andrei) detect the mating status of their partners and whether they respond by adjusting their ejaculate. We found that earthworms triplicated the donated sperm when mating with a non-virgin mate. Moreover, such increases were greater when the worms were mated with larger (more fecund) partners, indicating that earthworms perform a fine-tune control of ejaculate volume. The results of the present study suggest that, under high intensity of sperm competition, partner evaluation is subject to intense selection in hermaphrodite animals, and donors are selective about to whom they donate how much sperm.
Alberto Velando; Julio Eiroa; Jorge Domínguez
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  275     ISSN:  0962-8452     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2008 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-03-11     Completed Date:  2008-08-07     Revised Date:  2013-06-06    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1067-72     Citation Subset:  IM    
Departamento de Ecoloxía e Bioloxía Animal, Campus Lagoas-Marcosende, Universidade de Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Spain.
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MeSH Terms
Disorders of Sex Development
Fertility / physiology*
Oligochaeta / physiology*
Sexual Behavior, Animal*
Spermatozoa / physiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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