2017 Volume 12 Issue 1 Pages 78-81
Two Saccostrea oysters (S. glomerata and S. cucullata) are considered to be protandric hermaphrodites based on indirect observations. However, no other information is available on the sexual systems of Saccostrea oysters and the potential for bi-directional sex change has not previously been reported in them. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to investigate the sexual systems of S. kegaki and S. mordax in western Japan, utilizing field sampling and in situ experiments. In the field sampling, shell length (SL) and sex were determined during the reproductive season of these oysters (June–October) in 2012. Then, sex change was directly observed between 2013 and 2016 by determining the sex of individuals through gonadal biopsy, re-attaching the individuals in the field, collecting the survivors in the following year, and determining their sex by dissection. In both species, the proportion of males decreased with increasing SL, although the SL of males and females greatly overlapped. Direct observations showed that both male-to-female and female-to-male sex change occurred. Thus, our results indicated that both Saccostrea species tend to be protandric, but have the ability to change sex in both directions under natural conditions.