Female sperm storage in reptiles
Article first published online: 14 DEC 2001
Copyright © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Journal of Experimental Zoology
Special Issue: Comparative Biology of Sperm Storage in Vertebrates
Volume 292, Issue 2, pages 187–199, 1 February 2002
How to Cite
Sever, D. M. and Hamlett, W. C. (2002), Female sperm storage in reptiles. J. Exp. Zool., 292: 187–199. doi: 10.1002/jez.1154
- Issue published online: 14 DEC 2001
- Article first published online: 14 DEC 2001
- Manuscript Received: 14 SEP 2001
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 SEP 2001
Internal fertilization and oviparity most likely are symplesiomorphies for modern reptiles, and viviparity has evolved independently numerous times in Sauria and Serpentes. Oviducal sperm storage is known in females of all taxa except Amphisbaenia. However, in Rhynchocephalia and Crocodilia, sperm storage is poorly studied, and specialized sperm storage tubules (Ssts) are unknown. We use the molecular phylogenetic hypothesis [(Chelonia+Archosauria) (Squamata)] to trace evolution of sperm storage characters. Ssts arose independently in Chelonia and Squamata. Turtles possess albumen-secreting glands in the anterior half of the oviduct (the tuba or isthmus), and the most distal of these glands also serve as Ssts; in addition, some turtles possess Ssts in the adjacent segment of the oviduct, the uterus. Squamates lack albumen-secreting glands, and the ancestral state is possession of Ssts in the posterior infundibulum (uterine tube). Secondarily, iguanids have evolved vaginal Ssts. In this paper, we present the first ultrastructural observations on vaginal Ssts in lizards, using Anolis sagrei (Polychrotidae). Proximally, the neck of these simple tubular glands continues the alternation of ciliated and secretory cells lining the lumen of the vagina. However, the epithelial cells of the distal sperm storage area are neither secretory nor ciliated. The Ssts of Anolis are more similar to those of birds more than to infundibular receptacles in snakes and lizards J. Exp. Zool. 292:187–199, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.