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Description of the Male Reproductive System of the Hermit Crab Calcinus Tibicen (Decapoda: Anomura: Diogenidae)

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Abstract We describe the male reproductive system of the intertidal hermit crab Calcinus tibicen, with emphasis on the sexual apparatus, spermatophore, and spermatozoa. The crabs were collected on the rocky shore of Praia Grande Beach, Ubatuba, southeastern Brazil. The morphological analysis, based on 30 specimens, was made with the use of a stereomicroscope, an optical microscope, and scanning and transmission electron microscopes. The male reproductive system is composed of a pair of juxtaposed testes, located dorsally in the pleon. From each testis emerges a vas deferens that links it to the exterior by the gonopores, located on the base of the fifth pair of pereiopods. The vas deferens has three macroscopically distinct regions that contain spermatophores in different stages of maturation. The spermatophore morphology is similar to that of other members of Paguroidea, having a distal, nearly spherical ampulla containing spermatozoa; an approximately cylindrical peduncle; and a proximal foot connecting the spermatophores. We describe, for the first time, the variability in the spermatophore morphology and size in the three regions of the vas deferens using the type species of the genus Calcinus. The spermatozoa have three main regions (the acrosomal vesicle, the nucleus, and the cytoplasm). The morphological similarity of the male reproductive system of C. tibicen with previously studied species of Diogenidae is an indicative of complex phylogenetic relationships among the members of the genus.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Bioecology and Crustacean Systematics, Department of Biology, FFCLRP, University of Sa˜o Paulo (USP), Av. Bandeirantes, 3900, CEP 14040-901, Ribeira˜o Preto, Sa˜o Paulo, Brazil


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