Journal article

SOCIAL-CONTROL OF SEX-CHANGE IN THE BLUEHEAD WRASSE, THALASSOMA-BIFASCIATUM (PISCES, LABRIDAE)

RR WARNER, SE SWEARER

Biological Bulletin | MARINE BIOLOGICAL LABORATORY | Published : 1991

Abstract

While the bluehead wrasse has long been used as a test species in sex allocation theory, there is no published evidence that sex change in this species is socially controlled. Here we show that removal of large terminal color phase (TP) males from local populations leads to sex and color change in the largest initial color phase (IP) females. In contrast, no sex changes occurred in control populations in which the TP males were handled but replaced, and in which only the IP males were removed. The response to removals was quite precise, resulting in a nearly one-to-one replacement of TP males. Large individuals that had been seen spawning as female males on the day prior to the manipulation,..

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University of Melbourne Researchers