First record of second-generation facultative parthenogenesis in a vertebrate species!
In this study, two parthenogenetic events within a family of the whitespotted bambooshark Chiloscyllium plagiosum are reported. A captive female produced multiple parthenogens. Unexpectedly, a single specimen of a total of nine parthenogens displayed external claspers characterizing the male sex in chondrichthyans. Upon dissection, internal sexual organs of this specimen were malformed or absent; however, the presence of claspers in this study challenges the as yet assumed sex determination system in this shark species. Even more remarkable was that one of the female parthenogens reproduced asexually again producing viable offspring. As far as is known, this is the first genetically confirmed evidence for second-generation facultative parthenogenesis in vertebrates. These results support the evolutionary significance of parthenogenesis as an alternative to sexual reproduction.