Amazon Molly Fish are All Female

Posted on April 24, 2008  Comments (2)

No sex for all-girl fish species

A fish species, which is all female, has survived for 70,000 years without reproducing sexually, experts believe.

The species, found in Texas and Mexico, interacts with males of other species to trigger its reproduction process. The offspring are clones of their mother and do not inherit any of the male’s DNA. Typically, when creatures reproduce asexually, harmful changes creep into their genes over many generations.

One theory is that the fish may occasionally be taking some of the DNA from the males that trigger reproduction, in order to refresh their gene pool.

Dr Laurence Loewe, of the university’s School of Biological Sciences, said: “What we have shown now is that this fish really has something special going on and that some special tricks exist to help this fish survive. “Maybe there is still occasional sex with strangers that keeps the species alive. Future research may give us some answers.”

He added that their findings could also help them understand more about how other creatures operate. “I think one of the interesting things is that we are learning more about how other species might use these tricks as well,” he said. “It might have a more general importance.”

Related: Female Sharks Can Reproduce AloneOnly Dad’s GenesBdelloid Rotifers Abandoned Sex 100 Million Years AgoSex and the Seahorsemore posts about fish

2 Responses to “Amazon Molly Fish are All Female”

  1. Curious Cat Science Blog » Virgin Birth for Another Shark Species
    October 14th, 2008 @ 6:20 pm

    “a blacktip shark… had spent nearly her entire eight years at either the Virginia Aquarium without any male companionship from her kind…”

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Boa Constrictor Gives Birth to Clones
    November 3rd, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

    […] No sex for all-girl fish species – Virgin Birth for Another Shark Species – Bdelloid Rotifers Abandoned Sex 100 Million […]

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