Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 371–376 | Cite as

Spermatophores in Dermopristis cairae Whittington et Kearn, 2011 (Monogenea, Microbothriidae)

  • Graham C. Kearn
  • Ian D. Whittington
  • Richard Evans-Gowing


Spermatophores are described in the microbothriid monogenean Dermopristis cairae from the giant shovel-nosed ray, Glaucostegus typus (Elasmobranchii, Rhinobatidae). Each spermatophore consists of a fusiform capsule containing sperm and a hollow stalk. The proximal ends of the stalks of fully formed spermatophores were open and located in a recess on the ventral surface close to, but not inside, the vagina and the male reproductive opening. Three adult parasites carried spermatophores attached externally to the ventral surface. One individual carried 3 spermatophores and 2 others a single spermatophore. In addition, in 2 adults, short lengths of what appeared to be stalk remnants were observed attached near the reproductive openings. With regard to spermatophore exchange, the evidence in support of the following 2 possibilities is discussed. (1) Adult specimens of D. cairae carrying fully formed spermatophores ventrally are recipients not donors, having received their spermatophores singly during mating events. (2) Spermatophore carrying adults are donors, their spermatophores being freshly made and on offer to a potential mate. The evidence points to the first of these alternatives as the most likely but this is not conclusive and requires observations on mating between living parasites.


Platyhelminthes Monogenea Microbothriidae Dermopristis cairae Glaucostegus typus spermatophores 


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Copyright information

© © Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham C. Kearn
    • 1
  • Ian D. Whittington
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Richard Evans-Gowing
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of East AngliaNorwich, NorfolkUK
  2. 2.Monogenean Research Laboratory, Parasitology SectionThe South Australian MuseumNorth Terrace, Adelaide, South AustraliaAustralia
  3. 3.Marine Parasitology Laboratory, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (DX 650 418)The University of AdelaideNorth Terrace, Adelaide, South AustraliaAustralia
  4. 4.Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and BiodiversityThe University of AdelaideNorth Terrace, Adelaide, South AustraliaAustralia

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