Protandry and Self-Fertilization in the Calyptraeidae

Article metrics


ORTON1 suggested that protandrous animals might be self-fertilizing and that this would be advantageous for the spread of a species. He concluded that Crepidula fornicata was self-fertilizing because he found an isolated female guarding veliger larvæ. I have kept single Crepidula in aquaria and they have laid fertilized spawn two to three months later. Chipperfield2 found no unfertilized eggs but he examined only unbroken chains from a densely populated area. Wilczynski3 has recently said that the typical chains are feeding communities, not breeding associations and that copulation is effected with additional or visiting males. In Calyptraea chinensis (L.) males and females begin to associate seven months before spawn is laid4. Females probably store foreign sperms for long periods. Evidence for self-fertilization in Crepidula is therefore still lacking.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Orton, J. H., Nature, 169, 279 (1952).

  2. 2

    Chipperfield, P. N. J., J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K., 30, 49 (1951).

  3. 3

    Wilczynski, J. Z., Bull. Biol., 109, 353 (1955); J. Exp. Biol., 36, 34 (1959).

  4. 4

    Wyatt, H. V., Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (in the press).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

WYATT, H. Protandry and Self-Fertilization in the Calyptraeidae. Nature 187, 520 (1960) doi:10.1038/187520a0

Download citation


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.