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Structure of the seminal receptacle and sperm storage in the Japanese pygmy squid


  • Editor: Günther Zupanc

Noriyosi Sato, Usujiri Fisheries Station, Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, Hokkaido University, 152 Usujiri-cho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 041-1613, Japan. Tel: +81 138 25 3237


To examine the mechanism of sperm storage in Idiosepius paradoxus, here we describe aspects of the mating behavior of I. paradoxus and the morphology of the spermatozoa and the seminal receptacle after copulation. The seminal receptacle is located in the ventral portion of the buccal membrane surrounding the buccal mass, and opens inside the buccal membrane. It branches into approximately six sacs, similar in appearance to a bunch of bananas, and its wall consists of cuboidal ciliated epithelial cells (with oval nuclei) surrounded by a connective tissue. Multiple vacuoles are distributed in the bottom region of each sac. These histological and morphological characteristics differ from previous reports for loliginid squids and cuttlefish. In all except one receptacle observed in this study, sperm were stored near the bottom of each sac, and each sperm was facing the sac bottom. We observed spermatozoa in the entrance of the seminal receptacle in only one squid. These results suggest that spermatozoa were actively moving, and that sperm actively swam to the seminal receptacle. The volume of sperm in the seminal receptacles of the squid that had copulated eight times was the same as that in the squid that had copulated 29 times, which suggests that the seminal receptacle was filled after approximately eight copulation events. A squid that had copulated nine times retained a significant number of sperm in the seminal receptacle after spawning, suggesting that all of the sperm in the receptacle was not depleted after one spawning event.