Accessory male investment can undermine the evolutionary stability of simultaneous hermaphroditism

Nico K. Michiels, Philip H. Crowley, Nils Anthes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Sex allocation (SA) models are traditionally based on the implicit assumption that hermaphroditism must meet criteria that make it stable against transition to dioecy. This, however, puts serious constraints on the adaptive values that SA can attain. A transition to gonochorism may, however, be impossible in many systems and therefore realized SA in hermaphrodites may not be limited by conditions that guarantee stability against dioecy. We here relax these conditions and explore how sexual selection on male accessory investments (e.g. a penis) that offer a paternity benefit affects the evolutionary stable strategy SA in outcrossing, simultaneous hermaphrodites. Across much of the parameter space, our model predicts male allocations well above 50 per cent. These predictions can help to explain apparently 'maladaptive' hermaphrodite systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-712
Number of pages4
JournalBiology Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 23 2009


  • Adaptiveness
  • Male copulatory organ
  • Sex allocation
  • Sexual antagonism
  • Sexual selection
  • Simultaneous hermaphroditism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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