Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Electron microscopic investigation of the formation of spermatophores of Armadillidium vulgare

  • 42 Accesses

  • 12 Citations


An ultrastructural investigation of the formation and morphology of spermatophores of the isopod, Armadillidium vulgare, has been conducted. Armadillidium spermatozoa are organized into bundles ensheathed by a specialized structure that functions as a spermatophore. The spermatophore is an extracellular investment consisting of two components: (1) a cone-shaped assembly of longitudinally aligned, 400 to 450 Å diameter extracellular tubules, extending from the area rostral to sperm acrosomes to the region of sperm nuclei; and (2) matrix material, which surrounds spermatozoa for the entire length of the bundle. Morphological evidence suggests the participation of the rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus of testicular follicle cells in the production of tubular and matrix components of the spermatophore. Although the organization of spermatophores is similar throughout the male reproductive tract, the morphology of the matrix material appears to change at lower regions of the tract.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Acton, A.: An unusual ciliumlike process. J. Cell Biol. 29, 366–369 (1966)

  2. Bairati, A.: Filamentous structures in spermatic fluid of Drosophila melanogaster Meig. J. Microsc. (Paris) 5, 265–268 (1966)

  3. Beaulaton, J., Perrin-Waldemer, C.: Contribution à l'étude de la sécrétion de Drosophila melanogaster Meig. Ultrastructure et cytochimie des grains à microtubules. J. Microsc. Biol. Cell. 24, 91–104 (1975)

  4. Blanchard, R., Lewin, R., Philpott, D.: Fine structure of sperm tails of isopods. Crustaceana (Leiden) 2, 16–20 (1961)

  5. Cotelli, F., Ferraguti, F., Lanzavecchia, G., Lamia Donin, C.: The spermatozoon of peracarida. 1. The spermatozoon of terrestrial isopods. J. Ultrastruct. Res. 55, 378–390 (1976)

  6. Fain-Maurel, M.: Contribution à l'histologie et à la caryologie de quelques isopodes. Spermiogénèse et infrastructure du spermatozoïde des oniscidés et des cymothoïdés. Ann. Sci. Nat. Zool. Biol. Anim. 8, 1–188 (1966)

  7. Fain-Maurel, M.: Le spermatozoïde des isopodes. In: Comparative spermatology, pp. 221–236 (B. Baccetti, ed.). New York: Academic Press 1970

  8. Fain-Maurel, M.: Étude ultrastructurale des glandes salivaires de Limnaea stagnalis L. I. Mode de différenciation de grains de sécrétion à structure composite. Ann. Sci. Nat. Zool. Biol. Anim. 15, 141–158 (1973)

  9. Fain-Maurel, M., Reger, J., Cassier, P.: Le gamète mâle des schizopodes et ses analogies avec celui des autres péracarides. IL Particularité de la différenciation cellulaire au cours de la spermatogénèse. J. Ultrastruct. Res. 51, 281–292 (1975)

  10. Gilson, G.: Étude comparée de la spermatogénèse chez les arthropodes. Cellule (Belgium) 2, 83–239 (1886)

  11. Herrmann, G.: Sur la spermatogénèse chez les crustacés édriophtalmes. C.R. Hebd. Séances Acad. Sci. 97, 1009–1012 (1883)

  12. Kasaoka, L.: The male genital system in two species of mysid crustacea. J. Morphol. 143, 259–284 (1974)

  13. Mathur, R.: The male genitalia of Oniscus asellus (Linnaeus). J. R. Microsc. Soc. 80, 9–17 (1961)

  14. Perotti, E.: Microtubules as components of Drosophila male paragonia secretion. An electron microscopic study, with enzymatic tests. J. Submicrosc. Cytol. 3, 255–282 (1971)

  15. Reger, J.: The fine structure of spermatozoa from the isopod Asellus militaris (Hay). J. Ultrastruct. Res. 11, 181–192 (1964)

  16. Reger, J.: A comparative study on the fine structure of developing spermatozoa in the isopod, Oniscus asellus, and the amphipod, Orchestoidea sp. Z. Zellforsch. 75, 579–590 (1966)

  17. Reger, J., Fain-Maurel, M.: A comparative study on the origin, distribution, and fine structure of extracellular tubules in the male reproductive system of species of isopods, amphipods, schizopods, copepods, and cumacea. J. Ultrastruct. Res. 44, 235–252 (1973)

  18. Reger, J., Dudkiewicz, A., Florendo, N.: The fine structure of spermatid-associated, extracellular tubules in the schizopod Mysis oculata relicta. J. Ultrastruct. Res. 30, 166–171 (1970)

  19. Simionescu, N., Simionescu, M.: Galloylglucoses of low molecular weight as mordant in electron microscopy. I. Procedure, and evidence for mordanting effect. J. Cell Biol. 70, 608–621 (1976)

  20. Spurr, A.: A low-viscosity epoxy-resin embedding medium for electron microscopy. J. Ultrastruct. Res. 26, 31–43 (1969)

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Dr. Patricia W. Itaya.

Additional information

The author gratefully acknowledges Dr. Terence H. Williams for making available facilities at the Department of Anatomy, University of Iowa, Dr. James F. Reger and Dr. Paul M. Heidger, Jr. for critically reading the manuscript, and Evelyn Jew for assistance with Fig. 1

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Itaya, P.W. Electron microscopic investigation of the formation of spermatophores of Armadillidium vulgare . Cell Tissue Res. 196, 95–102 (1979). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00236350

Download citation

Key words

  • Armadillidium
  • Spermatophores
  • Spermiogenesis
  • Extracellular tubules/macrotubules