Female reproductive morphology of coral-inhabiting gall crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Cryptochiridae)

Juliane Vehof*, Sancia E. T. van der Meij, Michael Tuerkay, Carola Becker

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

15 Citaten (Scopus)


Gall crabs are obligate associates of stony corals in which they induce skeletal modifications. In some cryptochirid species, females live in open depressions accessible to males; while in others, females are rather isolated in semiclosed galls, which necessitates elaborate sperm storage capabilities by the female. In this study we investigate the female gross morphology and reproductive systems of Fungicola syzygia lodged in semiclosed flattened pits, Opecarcinus cathyae with semiopen pits and Pseudocryptochirus viridis from shallow open depressions using line drawings and histological methods. The general morphology of the cryptochirids' reproductive systems is uniform and conforms to other thoracotreme brachyurans: paired muscular vaginae of the concave pattern lead from the sternal gonopores into paired seminal receptacles where sperm is stored. The seminal receptacle is internally lined by distinct types of epithelia: a cuticle underlined by a columnar epithelium ventrally, a monolayered secretory epithelium dorsally and a multilayered transfer tissue where the oviducts enter the seminal receptacle. In all studied specimens, the seminal receptacle contained free spermatozoa; however, in specimens of Pseudocryptochirus viridis it also contained spermatophores, indicating a recent insemination. In contrast to most other brachyurans ovaries of the investigated cryptochirids extend into the pleon. The specific degree of ovary extension differs between the studied species and is closely related to female body shape.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)117-126
Aantal pagina's10
TijdschriftActa Zoologica Sinica
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusPublished - jan-2016
Extern gepubliceerdJa

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