A hermaphrodite is an organism possessing both male and female sexual organs. This means that when two individuals of a hermaphroditic species encounter each other they can mate and produce viable offspring. Many slugs and snails are hermaphrodites.
Reproduction in hermaphrodites should not be confused with a reproduction by parthenogenesis. Parthenogenesis occurs when a female can produce viable offspring without mating. Hermaphrodites must mate to reproduce but can mate with any other individual of the same species since they are both male and female.
Snails, like the Giant African Land Snail (Achatina fulica), are hermaphrodites.
Related groups of terms
Related pages on this web site
Back to Glossary