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Tokens of love: possible diagnostic value of mating plugs and refractive secretory uterine structures in Trichodorus (Diphtherophorina: Trichodoridae)

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Within the Trichodoridae, mating plugs have only been recorded from Trichodorus species. They can be observed as a clear plug within the vagina/vulva but may also be present in the uteri. These secretory structures are diverse in size, varying between 4 and 27 μm in length, and in shape from simple unipartite tubular structures to bipartite with a central indentation or with a tail-like end. All mating plugs possess a central canal that can vary in diameter. Within Trichodorus, the shape and structure of the mating plugs can provide additional diagnostic information at species level.


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