The effect of cryptic female choice on sex allocation in simultaneous hermaphrodites

Ellen van Velzen*, Lukas Scharer, Ido Pen

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

11 Citaten (Scopus)


Sex allocation theory for simultaneous hermaphrodites has focused primarily on the effects of sperm competition, but the role of mate choice has so far been neglected. We present a model to study the coevolution of cryptic female choice and sex allocation in simultaneous hermaphrodites. We show that the mechanism of cryptic female choice has a strong effect on the evolutionary outcome: if individuals remove a fixed proportion of less-preferred sperm, the optimal sex allocation is more female biased (i.e. more biased towards egg production) than without cryptic female choice; conversely, if a fixed amount of sperm is removed, sex allocation is less female-biased than without cryptic female choice, and can easily become male biased (i.e. biased towards sperm production). Under male-biased sex allocation, hermaphroditism can become unstable and the population can split into pure males and hermaphrodites with a female-biased allocation. We discuss the idea that the evolution of sex allocation may depend on the outcome of sexual conflict over the fate of received sperm: the sperm donor may attempt to manipulate or by-pass cryptic female choice and the sperm recipient is expected to resist such manipulation. We conclude that cryptic female choice can have a strong influence on sex allocation in simultaneous hermaphrodites and strongly encourage empirical work on this question.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)3123-3131
Aantal pagina's9
TijdschriftProceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Nummer van het tijdschrift1670
StatusPublished - 7-sep-2009

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