Organisms Diversity & Evolution

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 63–69 | Cite as

Setting the records straight: the ventral receptacle and the spermathecae of Piophila casei (Diptera: Piophilidae)

  • Marion KotrbaEmail author
Original Article


Piophila casei has been reported repeatedly, but incorrectly, to have only a single spermatheca—an extremely rare condition in the higher flies. This error is based on the misinterpretation of the large sclerotized ventral receptacle as a single spermatheca combined with the failure to detect the two present but unsclerotized spermathecae. This misconception is of importance not only in the context of studies regarding recurrent trends in the evolution of the ventral receptacle. It also led to a set of erroneous character codings in a phylogenetic analysis of the family. To set the records straight, previous more accurate literature is revisited and the ventral receptacle of Piophila casei is described and illustrated in detail together with other aspects of the female reproductive tract such as the spermathecae, accessory glands, vagina, and anterior ventral vagina pouch.


Reproduction Morphology Female genitalia Sperm storage Seminal receptacle 



I thank B. and J. Franzen for providing the studied material, D. Doczkal for verification of the Piophila casei species identification, B. Ruthensteiner for help with attempts at reconstruction with microcomputed tomography, and E. Karl and J. Pohl for help with getting hold of old literature.

Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants. The research exclusively involved dead insects from a museum collection. The plate reproduced in Fig. 1 was published in 1844 and is thus exempt from any copyright.

Conflict of interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SNSB–Zoologische Staatssammlung MünchenMunichGermany

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