complemental males

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

complemental males The small males of certain animals that live in or on the females and are usually more or less degenerate apart from the reproductive organs. They occur in certain crustaceans (e.g. some barnacles), in which the normal individuals are hermaphrodite but the complemental males have suppressed ovaries, lose their alimentary canal, and lead a semiparasitic existence in the mantle cavity of the larger partner. This may ensure that cross fertilization occurs.