As Ovoviviparie (Latin, literally " egg - live - birth" ) refers to a special form of reproduction, which has both characteristics of oviparity and the viviparous. The yolk-rich eggs ovoviviparer animals are not saved, but matured in the womb. The young hatch still in the mother's body or shortly after oviposition. The transition between oviparity and Ovoviviparie is partially blurred.

Demarcation to viviparity

The Ovoviviparie is sometimes referred to as aplazentale viviparous, which is not correct but, since there are other, equally aplazentale diets for the embryo in viviparous next to the placental nutrition. Tellingly is the term yolk sac viviparity.

Viviparous animals are born, oviparous hatch from an egg. The main difference between live-born ovoviviparous animals and viviparous animals is that the embryo at ovoviviparous animals only by the yolk contained in the egg ( yolk sac ) receives its nutrients autonomously from the metabolism of the mother and the viviparous embryo is nourished directly by the organism of the mother.

Spread in the animal kingdom

Ovoviviparous animals are relatively common in certain groups of animals. However Ovoviviparie is often not exactly distinguished from the viviparity. So the following animals or groups of animals are often referred to as ovoviviparous:

  • Many cartilaginous fish; here but also all forms of viviparity are represented
  • Some bony fishes, such as representatives of the hunting and very popular Zahnkärpflinge ( with the Guppy, the sword-bearer, the Black Molly and Platy ); here are still next to all forms of viviparity represented
  • Many reptiles such as garter snakes, almost all sea snakes, about 20 percent of chameleons, as well as the domestic slow-worm, the Lizard and the adder; also among the reptiles there are viviparous representatives ( as some skinks and certain snakes)
  • In the invertebrates there are some representatives of the spiders and aphids

Transitional forms

Besides being able to go through the entire embryonic development in the mother's body, there are also intermediate forms is that discriminate according to the developmental stage of the animals born:

  • Larviparie: Larvipar example, the fire salamander, which sells its larvae into the water, but also some leaf beetle ( Chrysomela ) and individual mayflies, such as Cloeon dipterum.
  • Pupiparie: Pupipar are those insects whose larvae pupate immediately after birth, as the louse flies ( Hippoboscidae ) and the tsetse fly ( Glossina ).

Term discussion

Since the term Ovoviviparie based on Viviparie and thus suggests that it is a form of live childbirth, there is the suggestion that the term in Vivioviparie (also Vivi- oviparity ) modify. The justification provided is that there is a genuine oviparity (ie oviposition ) is, only occurs at the hideout of the young animals immediately before or after oviposition.


  • Erwin Hentschel, Günther Wagner Zoological Dictionary, Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena, 1990, ISBN 3-334-00348-5 4th edition.
  • Adolf Remane, Volker Storch, Ulrich Welsch: Short Textbook of Zoology, Stuttgart and New York: Fischer, 1989, 6th edition. ISBN 3-334-00333-7
  • Günter Masurat Multiplication of chameleons, Herpeton, Offenbach 2005 ISBN 3-936180-06-7.
  • Zoology