First report of intersex in the signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus (Dana, 1852)

in Crustaceana
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


The reproductive strategies of species of non-indigenous crayfish make an important issue in astacological research. Although crayfish reproduction has been well studied, there is little information available on the occurrence of intersexuality. We report the first evidence of intersex in the signal crayfish, Pacifastacus leniusculus (Dana, 1852). An intersexual specimen was found among five tested signal crayfish. Morphology revealed both male and female genital openings, as well as male gonopods. The specimen superficially appeared male but contained both testes and ovaries, with an atypical dispersed structure. Sperm was obtained from this crayfish. Histology showed both spermatocytes and oocytes. The gonadosomatic index (GSI = 3.79) was considered as a morphometric parameter of the intersexual crayfish. The ova present in the intersex male raised its GSI to the three-fold of that of normal males.

First report of intersex in the signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus (Dana, 1852)

in Crustaceana



AlmeidaA. O.BuckupL.2000. Occurrence of protandric hermaphroditism in a population of the neotropical freshwater crayfish Parastacus brasiliensis (Parastacidae). Journal of Crustacean Biology20: 224-230.

HajslovaJ.PulkrabovaJ.PoustkaJ.CajkaT.RandakT.2007. Brominated flame retardants and related chlorinated persistent organic pollutants in fish from river Elbe and its main tributary Vltava. Chemosphere69: 1195-1203.

HavelkovaM.RandakT.ZlabekV.KrijtJ.KroupovaH.PulkrabovaJ.SvobodovaZ.2007. Biochemical markers for assessing aquatic contamination. Sensors7: 2599-2611.

HorwitzP.1988. Secondary sexual characteristics of females of the freshwater crayfish genus Engaeus (Decapoda, Parastacidae). Crustaceana54: 25-32.

JohnsenS. I.TaugbolT.2010. Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheet Pacifastacus leniusculus. Online Database of the European Network on Invasive Alien Species (NOBANIS) available online at (accessed 6 September 2013).

LewisS. D.2002. Pacifastacus. In: HoldichD. M. (ed.) Biology of freshwater crayfish: 511-540. (Blackwell ScienceOxford).

MedleyP. B.RouseD. B.1993. Intersex Australian red claw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus). Journal of Shellfish Research12: 93-94.

MedleyP.CamusA.TierschT.AvaultJ. W.1994. Hermaphroditic Australian redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus). International Association Astacology 10th Symposium p. 50 (abstract).

NiksiratH.KoubaA.PšenickaM.KuklinaI.KozákP.2013a. Ultrastructure of spermatozoa from three genera of crayfish Orconectes, Procambarus and Astacus (Decapoda: Astacoidea): new findings and comparisons. Zoologischer Anzeiger252: 226-233.

NiksiratH.KoubaA.RodinaM.KozákP.2013b. Comparative ultrastructure of the spermatozoa of three crayfish species: Austropotamobius torrentium, Pacifastacus leniusculus, and Astacus astacus (Decapoda: Astacidae). Journal of Morphology274: 750-758.

NiksiratH.KoubaA.KozákP.2014. Post-mating morphological changes in the spermatozoon and spermatophore wall of the crayfish Astacus leptodactylus: insight into a non-motile spermatozoon. Animal Reproduction Science149: 325-334.

NoroC. K.Lopez-GrecoL. S.BuckupL.2008. Gonad morphology and type of sexuality in Parastacus defossus, a burrowing, intersexed crayfish from southern Brazil (Decapoda: Parastacidae). Acta Zoologica (Stockholm)89: 59-67.

RudolphE. H.1995. Partial protandric hermaphroditism in the burrowing crayfish Parastacus nicoleti (Philippi, 1882) (Decapoda, Parastacidae). Journal of Crustacean Biology15: 720-732.

RudolphE. H.1999. Intersexuality in the freshwater crayfish Samastacus spinifrons (Philippi, 1882) (Decapoda, Parastacidae). Crustaceana72: 325-337.

RudolphE. H.2002. New records of intersexuality in the freshwater crayfish Samastacus spinifrons (Decapoda, Parastacidae). Journal of Crustacean Biology22: 377-389.

RudolphE.AlmeidaA.2000. On the sexuality of South American Parastacidae (Crustacea, Parastacidae). Invertebrate Reproduction and Development37: 249-257.

RudolphE.CrandallK.2005. A new species of burrowing crayfish Virilastacus rucapihuelensis (Crustacea, Decapoda, Parastacidae) from southern Chile. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington118: 765-776.

RudolphE.VerdiA.TapiaJ.2001. Intersexuality in the burrowing crayfish Parastacus varicosus Faxon, 1898 (Decapoda, Parastacidae). Crustaceana74: 27-37.

RudolphE.RetamalF. A.MartinezA. W.2007. Partial protandric hermaphroditism in the burrowing crayfish Virilastacus rucapihuelensis Rudolph and Crandall, 2005 (Decapoda, Parastacidae). Journal of Crustacean Biology27: 229-241.

SagiA.KhalailaI.BarkiA.HulataG.KarplusI.1996. Intersex red claw crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus (von Martens): functional males with previtellogenic ovaries. Biological Bulletin190: 16-23.

Silva-CastiglioniD.Lopez-GrecoL.OliveiraG. T.Bond-BuckupG.2008. Characterization of the sexual pattern of Parastacus variosus (Crustacea: Decapoda: Parastacidae). Invertebrate Biology127: 426-432.

SokolA.1988. The Australian yabby. In: HoldichD. M.LoweryR. S. (eds.) Freshwater crayfish: biology management and exploitation: 401-425. (Croom-HelmLondon).

VelisekJ.KoubaA.StaraA.2013. Acute toxicity of triazine pesticides to juvenile signal crayfish (Pasifastacus leniusculus). Neuoendocrinol. Lett.34(Suppl. 2): 31-36.

VogtV.2002. Functional anatomy. In: HoldichD. M. (ed.) Biology of freshwater crayfish: 53-151. (Blackwell ScienceOxford).



Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 15 15 6
Full Text Views 49 49 28
PDF Downloads 5 5 3
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0