Morphology and histology of the male reproductive system in two species of internally inseminating South American catfishes, Trachelyopterus lucenai and T. galeatus (Teleostei: Auchenipteridae).

Abstract

As part of an effort to characterize reproductive modifications in internally inseminating catfishes, ovaries and male reproductive systems were examined histologically in two species of auchenipterid catfishes, Trachelyopterus lucenai and T. galeatus, from southeastern Brazil. Internal insemination was documented in both species by the presence of sperm within ovaries. Although there is some variation in gross morphology of the male reproductive systems between the two species, both have four main regions: spermatogenic lobes, sperm storage regions, and secretory and storage regions of the seminal vesicle. In both species, the anterior portion of the reproductive system is spermatogenic and divided into numerous finger-like lobes. Posterior to the spermatogenic area is the storage region of the seminal vesicle, a large median structure with a honeycomb-like appearance. This region is consistently larger in T. lucenai. Attached to the storage region of the seminal vesicle in both species are secretory lobes comprised of tubules lined by secretory cells. These lobes in T. lucenai are small and located on the anterior aspect of the storage region of the seminal vesicle, whereas in T. galeatus the lobes are much larger and located laterally. The sperm storage regions of T. lucenai consist of two large lobes located ventral to the storage region of the seminal vesicle. Highly compact sperm packets (spermatozeugmata) fill the lumina of the ramifying tubules of these regions. Each spermatozeugma consists of elongate nuclei tightly arranged parallel to one another. In T. galeatus two distinct sperm storage regions are present. Just posterior to the spermatogenic lobes a series of small lobes serve as anterior sperm storage regions. Posterior to the secretory lobes of the seminal vesicle is a series of lobes, at the most posterior aspect of the reproductive tract, that serve as posterior sperm storage regions. Both are identical, histologically, to the sperm storage regions of T. lucenai. An absence of compact spermatozeugmata in the T. galeatus specimens may be related to variations in their sexual activity. The descriptions presented here allow for consistent terminology for comparison of regions of the male reproductive system based on presumed function.

Cite this paper

@article{Meisner2000MorphologyAH, title={Morphology and histology of the male reproductive system in two species of internally inseminating South American catfishes, Trachelyopterus lucenai and T. galeatus (Teleostei: Auchenipteridae).}, author={Amy Downing Meisner and John R. Burns and Stanley H . Weitzman and Luiz Roberto Malabarba}, journal={Journal of morphology}, year={2000}, volume={246 2}, pages={131-41} }