Intersex red claw crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus (von Martens): Functional Males with Pre-vitellogenic Ovaries Academic Article uri icon


  • Intersex individuals, possessing both male and female genital openings, were assessed in two groups-7 and 19 months old-of Australian red claw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus). All intersex individuals inves- tigated were functional males, as suggested by their male- like morphology and the presence of testes, sperm ducts, androgenic glands, and viable spermatozoa. When an ovary was present in an intersex individual from either group, the gonadosomatic index, the diameter of the oo- cytes, and the ovarian cytosolic polypeptide profile were similar to those of immature, pre-vitellogenic females. We conclude that intersexuality in C. quadricarinatus does not indicate a case of protandric sequential hermaphro- ditism, as previously suggested. The case of intersexuality described here presents a unique model for the study of the role of the androgenic gland in the regulation of sex differentiation in crustaceans.

publication date

  • January 1, 1996