According to Ovid, he fused with the nymph Salmacis resulting in one individual possessing physical traits of male and female sexes; Alexander ab Alexandro stated, using the term hermaphrodite, that the people who bore the sexes of both man and woman were regarded by the Athenians and the Romans as monsters, and thrown into the sea at Athens and into the Tiber at Rome.This contrasts simultaneous hermaphrodites, in which an individual may possess fully functional male and female genitalia.For instance, groupers are favoured fish for eating in many Asian countries and are often aquacultured.Since the adults take several years to change from female to male, the broodstock are extremely valuable individuals.The SRY is then activated in only certain areas, causing development of testes in some areas by beginning a series of events starting with the upregulation of SOX9, and in other areas not being active (causing the growth of ovarian tissues).Thus, testicular and ovarian tissues will both be present in the same individual.Some humans were historically termed true hermaphrodites if their gonadal tissue contained both testicular and ovarian tissue, or pseudohermaphrodites if their external appearance (phenotype) differed from sex expected from internal gonads.
Hermaphrodite is used in older literature to describe any person whose physical characteristics do not neatly fit male or female classifications, but the term has been replaced by intersex.
Intersex describes a wide variety of combinations of what are considered male and female biology.
Intersex biology may include, for example, ambiguous-looking external genitalia, karyotypes that include mixed XX and XY chromosome pairs (46XX/46XY, 46XX/47XXY or 45X/XY mosaic).
Sequential hermaphroditism is common in fish (particularly teleost fish) and some jellyfish, many gastropods (such as the common slipper shell), and some flowering plants.
Sequential hermaphrodites can only change sex once.