Effects of Intermating Interval on Spermatophore Size and Sperm Number in the Simultaneously Hermaphroditic Land Snail Arianta arbustorum


Corresponding author: Rolf Locher, Department of Integrative Biology, Section of Conservation Biology (NLU), University of Basel, St Johanns-Vorstadt 10, CH−4056 Basel, Switzerland. E-mail: Locherr@ubaclu.unibas.ch


We examined the effect of intermating interval on spermatophore size and number of sperm delivered in the simultaneously hermaphroditic land snail, Arianta arbustorum. Snails that remated after 6–7 d transferred smaller spermatophores which contained fewer sperm than snails that remated after eight and more days. This indicates that individuals of A. arbustorum need at least 8 d to completely replenish their sperm reserves after a successful copulation. We suggest that the interval between two copulations is also influenced by the energy costs of the long-lasting courtship behaviour with extensive mucus production.