Morphology of ovary and spermathecae of the parasitoid Eibesfeldtphora tonhascai Brown (Diptera: Phoridae)
Eibesfeldtphora tonhascai (Diptera: Phoridae) is a parasitoid of leaf-cutting ants and a potential biological control agent against these insect pests. This study describes the morphology of the ovary and spermatheca of E. tonhascai. The female reproductive tract of this parasitoid has a pair of meroistic polytrophic ovaries, two lateral oviducts that open into a common oviduct, an elongated accessory gland, and two spermathecae. Young oocytes are small and spherical, and their size increases as yolk is stored in the cytoplasm. This process is followed by chorion production by follicular cells. Mature oocytes are elliptical or torpedo-shaped. The reservoir wall of the spermatheca has type III glandular cells with cytoplasm rich in free ribosomes, rough endoplasmic reticulum, and secretory vesicles. The apical surface of these cells has microvilli associated with mitochondria. The reservoir lumen is lined by a cuticle and filled with spermatozoa. This is the first report of the ovary and spermatheca morphology of E. tonhascai and contributes to the comprehension of the reproductive biology of this parasitoid of leaf-cutting ants.
KeywordsLeaf-cutting ants Parasitoid Polytrophic ovary Female reproductive tract
We thank the Núcleo de Microscopia e Microanálise (NMM-UFV) for the technical assistance and H&J Editing Services, Brazil, for the English revision. We also thank the Brazilian agencies Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG), and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for the financial support.
This study was funded by the Brazilian research agencies Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico CNPq (grant number: 3015165/2013-5), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Supeiror CAPES and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais FAPEMIG (grant number: APQ-00508-16).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and animal rights and informed consent
All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.
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