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Ultrastructure of the vasa deferentia of Terrobittacus implicatus and Cerapanorpa nanwutaina (Insecta: Mecoptera)

  • Qi-Hui Lyu
  • Bao-Zhen HuaEmail author
Original Article


The fine structures of vasa deferentia and postvesicular vasa deferentia were investigated in the hangingfly Terrobittacus implicatus (Cai et al. 2006) and the scorpionfly Cerapanorpa nanwutaina (Chou 1981) using light and transmission electron microscopy, and schematic diagrams were drawn accordingly. The vasa deferentia of both species comprise muscular layers, a basal lamina, and a mono-layered epithelium, but the postvesicular vasa deferentia contain muscular layers, a basal lamina, a single-layered epithelium, a subcuticular cavity, and an inner cuticle respectively. The vas deferens releases secretions into the lumen directly, probably by means of merocrine production. On the contrary, the cells of the postvesicular vas deferens correspond to class I glandular cells, discharging secretions into the subcuticular cavity first, and then into the lumen through an inner cuticle. The epithelium in both structures of Bittacidae is well developed and contains more microvilli, organelles, and more types of secretions than in Panorpidae. In Panorpidae, the spine of the postvesicular vas deferens may serve as a barricade for the reflow of the sperm and to protect the extraordinarily long structure from being collapsed or injured.


Vas deferens Male reproductive system Morphology Bittacidae Panorpidae 



We thank Lu Liu and Ying Miao for the assistance in specimen collection and Xiao-Jun Fan, Mi Huo, and Ke-Rang Huang for the assistance in transmission electron microscopy.

Funding information

This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 31672341).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with animals and human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Plant Protection Resources and Pest Management, Ministry of Education, College of Plant ProtectionNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina
  2. 2.College of ForestryHenan University of Science and TechnologyLuoyangChina

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