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Sperm sharing in Biomphalaria snails: a new behavioural strategy in simultaneous hermaphroditism


Simultaneous hermaphroditism includes three reproductive options: self-fertilization, female-acting cross-fertilization, and male-acting cross-fertilization. Sperm sharing is introduced here as a fourth, new option: a cross-fertilized individual shares with other individuals sperm received from its previous crossmate. To share sperm, the individual acts mechanically as a male, but not genetically since the sperm it shares was not produced by it. We show here that sperm sharing occurs in snails of the genus Biomphalaria in laboratory conditions.

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Monteiro, W., Almeida, J. & Dias, B. Sperm sharing in Biomphalaria snails: a new behavioural strategy in simultaneous hermaphroditism. Nature 308, 727–729 (1984).

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