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Primary homology assessment of structures in the female atrial system among species of the Polycystididae (Rhabditophora, Eukalyptorhynchia)

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Abstract.

The female atrial system of members of the Polycystididae has been studied at the light microscopical level and compared among the constituent taxa. Based on the criteria of position and conjunction, hypotheses of homology are put forward and compared with the assessments of homology found in earlier literature. Contradictory terminology is synonymized and adapted to fit new findings that recognize homology among structures in different taxa. Based on differences in position and structure, 2 types of female duct are recognized: female duct type I and female duct type II. The term “female bursa” is restricted to a sperm resorbing organ at the proximal end of the female duct type I and/or at the end of a common oviduct. Some species have bundles of glands at the place where the oviduct(s) enter the female duct type I, which are considered homologous among these species. Different types of seminal receptacles are recognized. The term “insemination duct” is restricted to the ducts which in some species, in addition to the oviducts, connect the ovaries with the female duct type I. A single muscular duct, the common oviduct, connects the joined oviducts with the female duct type I in species of Duplacrorhynchus and is considered homologous with the similar duct present in some other species. A uterus is always present, entering the common genital atrium through its frontal wall, or entering a female duct type II. This morphological review of the female atrial system reveals a mosaic distribution of characters if applied to previous phylogenies that are based primarily on the male reproductive system.
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Keywords: Platyhelminthes; Turbellaria; genital system; morphology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Research Group Biodiversity, Phylogeny and Population Studies, Centre for Environmental Sciences, Limburgs Universitair Centrum, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium

Publication date: 01 June 2005

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