Abstract: That sexually mature females go through hormonally regulated reproductive cycles is a well-established phenomenon in sexually reproducing organisms. Males, on the other hand, are commonly regarded as being continuously ready to mate. 'Programmed sperm degradation' on a periodic basis or an innate sperm 'expiry date' have never been shown. This manuscript describes a newly discovered molt-dependent mechanism by which old sperm is periodically removed from the reproductive system of male Litopenaeus vannamei shrimp. Firstly, it is shown that the spermatophores of males held in captivity become progressively melanized, a process that eventually renders them impotent. Then, by using melanin specks as a color marker, it is demonstrated that this phenomenon can be delayed and even reversed as long as the males remain sexually active. Lastly and most importantly, it is shown that male shrimp go through reproductive cycles that are strictly associated with their molt cycles, which, in turn, are hormonally regulated. Intact intermolt spermatophores disappeared about 12 h premolt, and a new pair of spermatophores appeared in the ampoules the day after the males had molted. This phenomenon was observed in an almost constant portion of males, both those in an all-male population and those in mixed male/female populations, even during the times that the females of those populations were not vitellogenically active. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of males of any animal species exhibiting endogenous reproductive cycles, as do females, and of the finding that spermatozoa have a predetermined expiry date, a feature that may possibly contribute to male fitness.