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USAGE OF THE TERMS THELYCUM AND SPERMATHECA IN THE REPRODUCTIVE MORPHOLOGY OF THE DECAPODA, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE PENAEOIDEA

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ABSTRACT A recent proposal (Tavares and Secretan, 1993) for restricted usage of the terms thelycum and spermatheca in the Decapoda is discussed. Although the term thelycum has been most commonly utilized to signify the female genital area in penaeoid shrimps, the proposal does not address or include some of the pertinent evidence from the extensive literature on penaeoid systematics and reproductive morphology. The suggested limited definition of thelycum is not considered justifiable given the vast diversity in spermatophore structure, attachment, and storage in penaeoids or other decapods. The view that the thelycum is formed from only one thoracic sternite is hardly tenable, because the literature on penaeoid shrimps clearly shows that two and sometimes three thoracic sternites are involved in spermatophore attachment or storage, the main criterion of the proposal for function of a thelycum. It is noted herein that the thelycum of penaeoid females may serve (a) for either temporary attachment or prolonged storage of spermatophores or (b) as an area of genital contact with the male, which leads to the apertures of paired internalized seminal receptacles or spermathecae; sperm-free male accessory substances may or may not be deposited on that area. A rigid, limited application of the term spermatheca to only one variation of sperm or spermatophore storage structure (that derived from intersegmental phragmata) is hardly acceptable given the generalized meaning of the term (=sperm storage) and the considerable variation in such structures in the Decapoda.

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/content/journals/10.1163/193724094x00678
1994-01-01
2016-12-06

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