Gonad Morphology in Hermaphroditic Gobies

Kathleen S. Cole

in Reproduction and Sexuality in Marine Fishes

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780520264335
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947979 | DOI:
Gonad Morphology in Hermaphroditic Gobies

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Gobiid fishes constitute the second-largest family of vertebrates, and with more than 235 genera and over 1,400 species, they are by a considerable margin the largest family of marine fishes. Among gobiids, the reproductive mode of external fertilization, oviposition of demersal eggs, and parental care until hatching is relatively simple. What makes this group unusual is the capability of some taxa to produce both ova and sperm during adult life. This chapter examines the biological implications of diverse reproductive morphologies found among hermaphroditic goby taxa. After presenting a brief overview of gonad morphology in teleosts, it discusses the distribution patterns of different forms of reproductive morphology among hermaphroditic goby taxa from a phylogenetic perspective, to determine whether developmental patterns are consistent with known phylogenetic relationships within the Gobiidae. The chapter also examines the extent to which the evolution of different reproductive morphologies across clades may represent independent evolutionary events within the Gobiidae. Finally, it considers the female reproductive complex of gonochoric goby taxa and assesses the implications of functional hermaphroditism in gobiid evolution.

Keywords: Gobiidae; gobiid fishes; reproductive morphology; external fertilization; hermaphroditism; evolution; distribution; reproductive complex; gonad morphology; teleosts

Chapter.  15192 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aquatic Biology

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