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Keywords:

  • entomology;
  • germ cells;
  • insect sperm;
  • microscopy;
  • reproductive system

Abstract

Morphology of male internal reproductive organs, spermatozoa, and spermiogenesis of the blow-flies Lucilia cuprina, Lucilia eximia, and Lucilia peruviana is first described here, using light and transmission electron microscopy. Spermiogenesis follows the characteristics described for others insect species. The spermatozoa of L. cuprina are similar to those described for other Brachycera. However, in L. eximia and L. peruviana, some differences were found. In L. cuprina and L. eximia species, the spermatozoa are long and thin, measuring about 211 μm and 146 μm in length, of which the head region measures approximately 19 μm and 17 μm, respectively. A polymorphism was observed in L. cuprina and L. eximia spermatozoa. In all three species, the head includes a monolayered acrosome with electron-lucent material. The shape of the nucleus, in cross sections, varies from circular to oval with completely condensed chromatin. Implantation of the axoneme was observed in the middle region of the nucleus, known as the “peg” region. In the next region, the beginning of two mitochondrial derivatives of similar diameter and different lengths in L. cuprina and only one in L. eximia and L. peruviana was observed. In the overlap region, the following structures were observed: nucleus, centriolar adjunct, mitochondrial derivatives, and axoneme. The axoneme is of a conventional insectan type with a 9 + 9 + 2 microtubular arrangement. The male internal reproductive tract consists of testis, deferent ducts, a strongly developed seminal vesicle, accessory glands, and ejaculatory duct. These features are consistent with the structural diversity of the dipteran reproductive tract and spermatozoa, comprising an essential tool for understanding the complex variations found in the Diptera. J. Morphol. 2011. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.