Sperm storage in spermathecae of the great lamper eel, Amphiuma tridactylum (Caudata: Amphiumidae)
The spermathecae of ten female Amphiuma tridactylum were examined by light and electron microscopy during the presumed mating and ovipository seasons (March-August) in Louisiana. Spermathecae were simple tubuloalveolar glands in the dorsal wall of the cloaca. Six of the ten specimens were vitellogenic, and all of these specimens contained sperm in their spermathecae and had secretory activity in the spermathecal epithelium. Two nonvitellogenic females also had sperm in their spermathecae and active epithelial cells, whereas the other nonvitellogenic females lacked stored sperm and secretory activity in the spermathecae. In specimens storing sperm from March-May, the sperm were normal in cytology, and secretory vacuoles were contained within the epithelium. In the August sample, however, evidence of sperm degradation was present, and secretory material had been released into the lumen by an apocrine process. We therefore hypothesize that the spermathecal secretions function in sperm degeneration. (C) 1996 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Sever, D. M., Doody, J. S., Reddish, C. A., Wenner, M. M. and Church, D. R. (1996), Sperm storage in Spermathecae of the great lamper eel, Amphiuma tridactylum (Caudata: Amphiumidae). J. Morphol., 230: 79-97. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-4687(199610)230:1<79::AID-JMOR7>3.0.CO;2-I
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