Juvenile bisexuality in the red sea bream, Pagrus major

Michiya Matsuyama, Ricardo Torres Lara, Shuhei Matsuura

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40 Citations (Scopus)


The histology of the gonad of the red sea bream, Pagrus major, was examined in order to study the early gonadal development, sexual maturation and sex ratio in a natural population. A total of 1,117 fish between the ages of 4 months and 8 years were examined. Gonads of 4-month-old fish were either sexually undifferentiated with a central cavity, or ovarian in form. Gonads of 12- and 18-month-old fish were ovaries or bisexual gonads, while those of 2-year-old fish were ovaries, bisexual gonads or testes. Fish aged between 3 and 8 years had ovaries or testes, except for a few bisexual gonads found in 3- and 4-year-old fish. The chronological appearance of females, hermaphrodites and males in that order, and histological evidence, suggested that the testis originates from the ovary via a bisexual gonad in the juvenile stage. The sex ratio of females to males at the age of 2 years and over was about 1:1, suggesting that hermaphroditic red sea bream appear in about 50% of the juvenile population. The sexual pattern in this species, therefore, is concluded to be gonochorism with a bisexual juvenile stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-36
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Biology of Fishes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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