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Abstract

Body size is expected to affect the mating behaviour and mating patterns of simultaneous hermaphrodites, because it can influence fecundity, mate choice and mechanical constraints to mating. However, there is a lack of detailed research on size-dependent mating patterns in hermaphroditic species, including aquatic pulmonates. We investigated mating patterns and mating success in the simultaneous hermaphroditic pond snail Radix lagotis (Gastropoda: Pulmonata). We found that fecundity increased with body size and we observed a strong pattern of size-assortative mating across two breeding seasons. Sperm donors were more likely to inseminate large snails than small snails, and pairings between two large individuals were more likely to result in successful copulations than pairings of two small individuals or two individuals of differing sizes. Other possible explanations (mechanical constraint) for these patterns are also discussed.