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Mating behaviour, spermatophore and functional anatomy of the male reproductive organs of Piona carnea (Koch, 1836) (Prostigmata, Hydrachnidia)

Bucking, J.

2000 - Volume: 41 Issue: 3 pages: 327-352


Piona carnea Hydrachnidia mating behaviour spermatophores male reproductive organs


Males of Piona carnea form a cluster of 14-18 connected spematophores embedded into viscous secretion. This cluster is kept ready by modified legs III in a genital pocket. After grasping the female, the male keeps the pairing position by hooking his notched genu of legs IV to the first legs of the female. After a resting phase, sperm is transferred through a sequence of rubbing and dabbing movements of the spermatophores against female gonopore, followed by a second resting phase. Separation happened 1.5 to 3.5 h after pairing started. The male genital organs comprise a proximal tract (circular testis, paired vasa deferentia, the proximal part of an unpaired vas deferens) and a chitinous distal tract (distal unpaired vas deferens, ejaculatory complex and phallocrypt). The glandular part of testes is filled with matrix secretion, spermatozoa, droplets of stalk secretions and of sheath secretion. The testicular products are moved by the peristalsis of the muscular vasa deferentia to the ejaculatory complex (EC). The EC is a complex system of sclerites connected by less sclerotized areas. By means of six intrinsic muscle groups, this construction enables the dilatation and compression of the sperm passage during the formation of the spermatophore and ejaculation. The stalk secretion flows over the claws of legs III, hardens and form the basal part of stalk. As the legs are lifted, the secretion is f=drawn out to the medium part of the stalk. The spineelike apical part of the stalk is cat in a distal moud of the EC while the head is fromed in an elongated proximal chamber. The sheath secretion of the head is drawn out to a tube when the tip of the stalk is released. Repeated depositions and the release of embedding secretion form the dome-shaped cluster.

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2000 Bucking, J.
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