Semel parity

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Semelparity or Semelparie , more rarely called Semelparitie ( lat. Semel for "once", pario for "to give birth"), describes a life cycle in which the organism in question reproduces sexually only once in its life. In most cases semelpare organisms die shortly after their reproduction, which can also include brood care.

Examples of semelpare organisms are:

  • hapaxanthic plants such as agaves ;
  • some octopuses ( Octopoda ), in which the female guards and ventilates the eggs it has laid at the top of a cave, does not eat anything during this time and dies after the hatchings of the offspring;
  • Pacific salmon ( Oncorhynchus spp. ), which grow up as migratory fish in the sea, but swim up the rivers to spawn and mate in streams in their upper reaches and deposit their spawn there . During the spawning migration, the bodies of the salmon change and they hardly or no more food, so that after reproduction they die exhausted in the spawning waters (which they also use to fertilize them and thus improve the living conditions for their offspring);
  • some shrews ( Soricidae ) and bag mice ( Dasyuridae );
  • the Spanish slug .

The opposite of semelparity, i.e. the repeated reproduction in the course of a lifetime, is called iteroparity .

Individual evidence

  1. Lexicon of Biology, Volume 7, page 403, sv. semelpar; Freiburg u. a., 1986