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Unraveling the structure of squids’ spermatophores: a combined approach based on Doryteuthis plei (Blainville, 1823) (Cephalopoda: Loliginidae)

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Marian, J.E.A.R. and Domaneschi, O. 2012. Unraveling the structure of squids’ spermatophores: a combined approach based on Doryteuthis plei (Blainville, 1823) (Cephalopoda: Loliginidae). —Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 93: 281–307.

Male coleoid cephalopods produce elaborate spermatophores, which function autonomously outside the male body during copulation, undergoing a complicated process of evagination. In order to contribute to the understanding of this unique structure, this study investigated the morphology of the spermatophore of Doryteuthis plei applying several microscopy techniques. A hitherto unreported, much more complex structural arrangement was revealed for the loliginid spermatophore, the most striking findings being: (1) the complex, layered structure of the middle membrane, which bears an additional, chemically distinct segment surrounding part of the cement body; (2) the presence of a space between the inner tunic and middle membrane filled with a fine reticulated material; (3) the presence of stellate particles not only embedded in the spiral filament, but also closely applied to the inner membrane at the level of the cement body; (4) the presence of a pre‐oral chamber in the cap region; and (5) the complex organization of the cement body, formed by two distinct layers encompassing contents of different chemical and textural properties. Careful literature reassessment suggests several of these features are common to loliginids, and to some extent to other squids. Their possible functional implications are discussed in light of our knowledge of the spermatophoric reaction mechanics.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratório de Malacologia, Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Biociências da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Publication date: 2012-07-01

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