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HERMAPHRODITE

Definition

Refers to an individual organism which is capable of producing both male and female gametes. In one type of hermaphroditism (simultaneous), functional male and female gametes are produced at the same time; in a second type, consecutive hermaphroditism, a sex change occurs at some point in the life of the individual. Consecutive hermaphroditism is known as protandry when the initial sex is male and protogyny when the initial sex is female; the former is more common than the latter. Hermaphroditism occurs in 18 families of fish and is widespread in invertebrates; example species of aquacultural interest include groupers and pandalid (northern) shrimp, oysters and scallops.

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