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Free Content The Mating System of the Caribbean Rosy Razorfish, Xyrichtys Martinicensis

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Rosy razorfish, Xyrichtys martinicensis, live in isolated colonies on extensive sandbeds in the San Blas Islands of Panama. The females in these colonies are members of contiguous harems, each of which is defended by a single large male. These fish are unusual among wrasses in that females are gregarious and extremely site-attached. It is proposed that this adaptation to the lack of shelter in sandbed habitats enables large males to successfully defend groups of females and has therefore led to the development of a haremic mating system in this species (female defense polygyny). Among the secondary adaptations to this mating system are protogynous sequential hermaphroditism (sex-change from female to male), the absence of non-sex-changed males, and reduced male gonad size.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1987-01-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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