Evolutionary Trends in Reproduction



Arthropods evolved in the sea, from the same ancestral stock as that from which the annelids arose. Reproduction can take place in several different ways in aquatic environments. Many marine taxa, including coelenterates, molluscs and echinoderms, merely shed their sexual products into the water, where the eggs are fertilized. Although this method is extremely simple, nevertheless the sexes must be in fairly close proximity to ensure union of egg and sperm, whose vitality is of limited duration. Furthermore, the reproductive activity of the sexes must be synchronized. It is usually correlated with the tides and phases of the moon. Efficiency is improved when the sexes come together, as in Limulus, the male fertilizing the eggs as soon as they have been laid. Even so, this could not take place on land without eggs, sperm, and the resulting zygotes and embryos suffering from desiccation.


Oribatid Mite Copulatory Organ Sperm Transfer Genital Atrium Genital Opening 
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Further Reading

  1. Alexander AJ, Ewer DW (1957) On the origin of mating behavior in spiders. Am Nat 91:311–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alexander RD (1964) The evolution of mating behaviour in arthropods. Symp R Entomol Soc Lond 2:78–94Google Scholar
  3. Bastock M (1967) Courtship. A zoological study. Heinemann, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Bristowe WS (1958) The world of spiders. Collins, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Chapman RF (1969) The insects, structure and function. English Universities Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. Cloudsley-Thompson JL (1976) Evolutionary trends in the mating of Arthropoda. Meadowfield, Shildon Co Durham (Patterns of Progress Zoology, Vol 5)Google Scholar
  7. Davey KG (1960) The evolution of spermatophores in insects. Proc R Entomol Soc Lond (A) 35:107–113Google Scholar
  8. Hinton HE (1964) Sperm transfer in insects and the evolution of haemocoelic insemination. Symp R Entomol Soc Lond 2:95–107Google Scholar
  9. Lewis JGE (1981) The biology of centipedes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Schaller F (1971) Indirect sperm transfer by soil arthropods. Ann Rev Entomol 16:407–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Schaller F (1979) Significance of sperm transfer and formation of spermatophores in arthropod phylogeny. In: Gupta AP (ed) Arthropod phylogeny. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, pp 587–608Google Scholar
  12. Thornhill R, Alcock J (1983) The evolution of insect mating systems. Harvard University Press, Cambridge Mass LondonGoogle Scholar
  13. Weygoldt P (1969) The biology of pseudoscorpions. Harvard University Press, Cambridge MassGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology (Medawar Building), University CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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