Female genital structures of Metridinidae (Copepoda: Calanoida)
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The female genital structures of six calanoid copepod species, belonging to the genera Gaussia, Metridia and Pleuromamma, were studied using light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The copulatory pores and seminal receptacles are paired in Gaussia and Metridia, but unpaired in Pleuromamma. A thin epicuticle and a spermatophoral plug are the mechanisms by which the pores are closed before and after copulation. The pores open directly into the receptacles, which are reduced to shallow integumentary depressions in Gaussia. The mode of insemination suggests two matings in females of Gaussia and Metridia, but only one in Pleuromamma. Paired gonopores and egg-laying ducts are present in the three genera, with a characteristic, closed semicircular configuration; these are opened during egg-laying by the action of retractor muscles of the gonoporal plates. The seminal ducts, which open into the gonopores, are long, thin and paired in Gaussia and Metridia, whereas in Pleuromamma they are short, broad and unpaired. The opening of the seminal and egg-laying ducts is synchronized. The shell ducts are paired in Gaussia and Metridia, unpaired in Pleuromamma; these arise from glands situated in the lateral expansions of the last prosomite and lead into the distal part of each egg-laying duct in Gaussia and Metridia and of the egg-laying duct receiving the seminal duct in Pleuromamma. The position and anatomy of these structures are compared to those of other families and genera, and a functional interpretation of their morphology is proposed. The main evolutionary trends of the different structural patterns of female calanoid genitalia are presented in tabular form.
KeywordsMicroscopy Electron Microscopy Scanning Electron Microscopy Depression Distal Part
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