Internal reproductive system in adult males of the genus Camponotus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae)

Diana E. Wheeler, Philip H. Krutzsch

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41 Scopus citations


Descriptions are provided of the histology and ultrastructure of the male internal reproductive tracts from three species of Camponotus, representing three subgenera. This study is the first to provide ultrastructural information on the testes (including spermatogenesis and spermiogenesis), seminal vesicles, and accessory glands in ants. Testes contain about ten follicles each, and each follicle is capable of producing hundreds of cysts in which spermatozoa develop. Structural evidence of meiosis in late pupal testes includes cytoplasmic bridges between spermatocytes, centriole elimination, and fusion of mitochondria. Developing spermatids are in close contact with cyst cells in the region of the acrosome. Mature spermatozoa are similar in ultrastructure to those described previously for two other subfamilies of ants (Myrmicinae and Dolichoderinae). The ultrastructure of the seminal vesicle suggests that it is not merely a passive organ for sperm storage. Large numbers of both mitochondria and membranous whorls suggest a pH‐regulating and/or hormonal function. The accessory gland is made up of secretory cells that contain a diversity of secretory granules. SDS‐PAGE reveals several proteins found in the accessory glands but absent in the adjacent genitalia. Preliminary analyses indicate that carbohydrate is an important component of accessory gland secretions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-317
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Morphology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Developmental Biology


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