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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT The morphology, histology, ultrastructure, and development of the reproductive system in Lepeophtheirus salmonis, a major pathogen of farmed salmon, are described using LM, TEM, and SEM. In both sexes the reproductive structures are visible at the preadult stage, but they do not mature until the adult stage. The female reproductive system consists of a pair of ovaries, oviducts, cement glands, and a single receptaculum seminis. Various stages of oogenesis are discernible within the ovaries and oviducts of preadult II and adult females. Oogonia divide to primary oocytes which pass into the oviduct and undergo vitellogenesis. The reproductive system of male L. salmonis consists of a pair of testes, vasa deferentia, spermatophore sacs, and cement glands. Various stages of spermatogenesis are discernible within the testes of preadult and adult males. Degenerating spermatocytes in the testes form "A" globules which pass down the vasa deferentia and fuse to form the inner secretion of the spermatophore, which later forms the spermatophore tube and fills the copulatory duct of the female. Several features of the reproductive system suggest that adult female L. salmonis are monogamous, while adult males are polygamous.


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