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Dreyer, Niklas; Hög, Jens T.; Hess, Martin; Sörensen, Stefan; Spremberg, Uwe and Yusa, Yoichi (2018): When dwarf males and hermaphrodites copulate: first record of mating behaviour in a dwarf male using the androdioecious barnacle Scalpellum scalpellum (Crustacea: Cirripedia: Thoracica). In: Organisms Diversity & Evolution, Vol. 18, No. 1: pp. 115-123

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Mating behaviour between a dwarf male and its hermaphrodite partner was observed for the first time in cirripedes using the androdioecious barnacle Scalpellum scalpellum. Mating between hermaphrodites was also observed. The dwarf males are located on the rim of the mantle cavity of the hermaphrodite partner. When mating, the male extends the penis, which is four times longer than its body. The penis first assumes a straight stance where it is waved around in a searching mode. Upon touching the cirri of the hermaphrodite, the penis and the cirri engage in prolonged contact during which hermaphrodite feeding is suspended. Thereafter the penis assumes a U-bend to reach into the brood chamber, where after the mantle valves are closed tightly around the penis. The nearly transparent penis is a tube of very thin cuticle, equipped with pairs of side branches but not containing any visible tissue. The penis enables the minute male, situated outside the brood chamber, to securely deposit sperm into its partner. Adjacently situated hermaphrodites interact socially in between feeding sessions by reorienting themselves on the peduncle to touch each other with their cirri. This can be followed by precopulatory behaviour, where one or both individuals extend the penis to touch their partner, leading again to actual copulation where the penis of one individual is inserted into the other. We discuss the results in the context of the diverse reproductive strategies found in cirripede barnacles.

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