Greg Lewbart

INVERTEBRATE MEDICINE, Second Edition BLOG

Hot Topic Article: Disposable penis and its replenishment in a simultaneous hermaphrodite.

March 12, 2013

Tags: Ayami Sekizawa, Satoko Seki, Masakazu Tokuzato, Sakiko Shiga and Yasuhiro Nakashima. 2013. Biology Letters 9(2): 20121150. Published online February 13, 2013 doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.1150

Ayami Sekizawa of the Department of Biology and Geosciences, Osaka City University, Osaka Japan and colleagues have discovered that a species of nudibranch can autotomize its penis after copulating, and via "penis replenishment," is able to
copulate again in less than 24 hours. Following copulation penis autotomy occurred within 30 minutes. The authors observed and recorded over 30 reciprocal copulations for this study. Like many gastropods, Chromodoris reticulata is a simultaneous hermaphrodite, but this mating behavior is unusual and to the authors' knowledge unique.

Abstract:

Although it is often thought that sexual selection is weaker in simultaneous hermaphrodites than in gonochorists, some simultaneous hermaphrodites exhibit bizarre mating behaviour. In the simultaneously hermaphroditic nudibranch Chromodoris reticulata, we found a peculiar mating behaviour, wherein the nudibranch autotomized its penis after each copulation and was able to copulate again within 24 h. To have sufficient length to be replenished for three copulations, the penis is compressed and spiralled internally. No other animal is known to repeatedly copulate using such ‘disposable penes’. Entangled sperm masses were observed on the outer surface of the autotomized penis, which is equipped with many backward-pointed spines. There is a possibility that the nudibranch removes sperm already stored in a mating partner's sperm storage organ(s).

http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/9/2/20121150

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Selected Works

Science Writing
The Second Edition of Invertebrate Medicine was released in December, 2011. It has been substantially expanded from the first edition to reflect the tremendous growth of the pertinent literature and work that is being accomplished in the fields of invertebrate animal medicine, disease investigation, conservation, husbandry, and animal welfare. In 2012 it is being recognized with a Text and Academic Authors Association TEXTY award for excellence in the Life Sciences Category and first place in the Health Care Professionals (nonphysicians) category of the 2012 American Medical Writers Association Book Awards.
This book, edited by Karen L. Rosenthal, Neil A. Forbes, Frederic L. Frye, and Gregory A. Lewbart, utilizes approximately 400 clinical cases to describe and address many of the major medical and surgical conditions of exotic animal pets.
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