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Is cleistospermy and coenospermy related to sperm transfer? A comparative study of the male reproductive system of Pachygrapsus transversus and Pachygrapsus gracilis (Brachyura: Grapsidae)

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We describe the production of spermatophores and the seminal fluid in Pachygrapsus transversus and P. gracilis. Both species have tubular testes. The vas deferens is divided into anterior (AVD), middle (MVD), and posterior (PVD). The AVD in P. transversus is further divided into two portions: proximal without spermatophores and distal filled with coenospermic spermatophores. In P. gracilis, the AVD was not divided because spermatophores were in cleistospermia. In both species, the MVD is responsible for producing part of the seminal fluid reactive polysaccharides. The accessory gland opens into the PVD and changes the characteristics of the seminal fluid. The glandular secretion is glycoproteinaceous in P. transversus and rich in acidic and neutral polysaccharides in P. gracilis. The eggs of P. transversus are larger than those of P. gracilis. The differences in spermatophore structure and the characteristics of seminal fluid seem to indicate physiological differences related to sperm transfer.

Affiliations: 1: 1Campus Experimental do Litoral Paulista, Univ. Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Praça Infante Don Henrique S/N, São Vicente 11300-900, SP, Brazil; 2: 2Postgraduate Program in Comparative Biology, Laboratory of Bioecology and Crustacean Systematics (LBSC), Department of Biology, Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters of Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP), University of São Paulo (USP), Av. Bandeirantes – 3900, CEP 14040-901, Ribeirão Preto (SP), Brazil; 3: 3Departamento de Biologia Aplicada, Invertebrate Morphology Laboratory (IML), Aquaculture Center (CAUNESP) and Instituto de Estudos Avançados do Mar (IEAMar), Univ. Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Via de Acesso Prof. Donato Castellane, S/N, Jaboticabal 14884-900, SP, Brazil


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