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In this case, the larger one takes the female role, the small one the male role. Less energy is required to produce sperm than to produce eggs.In simultaneous hermaphrodites, some species continue to grow after sexual maturation.Therefore, the real size distribution data of the population are necessary for more precise analysis.De Witt (1996) also suggested that the preferred gender role for physid snails is to act as a male.In some simultaneous hermaphrodites, individual gender role is clearly separated between mating partners, with one acting as the sperm donor (the male role) and the other acting as the sperm recipient (the female role).We can distinguish individual gender roles easily in this case., is determined by relative body size in a manner predicted by the size-advantage model.
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Smaller individuals tended to play the “male” role (sperm donor), and larger snails the “female” (sperm recipient).
Next, we analyzed the mating behaviors involved in gender-role decision in snail pairs of three different body-size combinations, using “large” and “small” snails.
If the potential reproductive value of one gender role increases much more with body size than the other (e.g., the amount of sperm transferred per copulation, or the amount of eggs produced per litter), smaller individuals would prefer to act more frequently as a male and large enough ones as a female, or vice versa, as the size-advantage model predicts.
Thus, they may decide to choose the more favorable role that reflects higher reproductive success, depending on body size.
A hypothesis was constructed based on the size advantage model: small snails should prefer to act as the male, and large snails as the female.