, Volume 486, Issue 1, pp 263-272

A survey of the reproductive biology in Italian branchiopods

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Abstract

Main reproductive features of Limnadia lenticularis (Linnaeus, 1761) (Spinicaudata) and Lepidurus apus lubbocki Brauer, 1873 (Notostraca) are given and compared to those of other Italian species. Gametogenesis, germ cell distribution, gonadal architecture, eggshell origin and development, and somatic tract of the gonad structure are studied by means of TEM and SEM. At variance of previous reports suggesting a parthenogenetic reproduction of Limandia lenticularis, we show an hermaphroditic condition for this taxon and that fertilization occurs. On the other hand, the female apparatus of the Notostracan Lepidurus apus lubbocki appears perfectly functional in all analyzed aspects of the gametogenesis. A comparison with Triops cancriformis (Bosc, 1801) – the other Italian Notostracan – indicates a high degree of morphological affinity, also for the absence of male germinal areas.