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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 301:307-310 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/meps301307

First reported cases of intersex (ovotestis) in the flatfish species dab Limanda limanda: Dogger Bank, North Sea

G. D. Stentiford*, S. W. Feist

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), Barrack Road, The Nothe, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8UB, UK

ABSTRACT: This paper provides the first report of the intersex (ovotestis) condition in the flatfish species dab Limanda limanda. Specimens presenting the condition were collected from the North Dogger Bank in the North Sea during the United Kingdom National Marine Monitoring Programme in 2003. Two of the individuals collected (14.3% of the males sampled) presented externally as males but upon histological examination were seen to contain both male and female gonadal tissues. Pre-vitellogenic oocytes were suspended within a matrix of spermatogonia and spermatocytes. One of the specimens also presented dilated testicular follicles filled with masses of mature spermatozoa. The significance of this finding in the United Kingdom’s sentinel offshore monitoring species is discussed with relation to potential offshore effects of exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

KEY WORDS: Flatfish · Endocrine disruption · Limanda limanda · Ovotestis · Ovary · Testis · Reproduction

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